Wine science in the Wild West: information-seeking behaviors and attitudes among Washington state winemakers and growers

Erika Amethyst Szymanski*, Lloyd S. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This case study provides a foundation for improving the efficacy and efficiency of communicating wine science by investigating winemakers’ and growers’ behaviors and attitudes around accessing professional information resources. Interviews and surveys of Washington state winemakers and growers yield qualitative data concerning how they interact with the many different information sources available to them, what frustrates or enables their learning, and their attitudes toward employing scientific research findings in their winemaking. Findings show that, beyond a general preference for traditionally authoritative sources, Washington state winemakers and growers as a whole are remarkably diverse with resource preferences and attitudes relating to how they think about the role of science in winemaking and the nature of being a good winemaker. Winemakers’ and growers’ sense of professional identity, in other words, proved the strongest predictor of their resource use preferences, whereas demographic characteristics such as educational background or age failed to correlate with resource use preferences. Attending to this heterogeneity and the reasons behind it may help extension and other science communicators craft messages framed to be more relevant and trustworthy to their industry audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-286
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Wine Research
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • information acquisition
  • resource use
  • science communication
  • Washington state

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