A conventionalist perspective on the case of the “Etablissements Thunevin”

GRP Publishing

The Thunevin company is a wine producer and trader. Robert Parker, the famous American critic and founder of the no less famous magazine The Wine Advocate, has described its founder and director Jean-Luc Thunevin as a « bad boy ». This term may reflect a form of deviation from the rules of the game of a particular field of action or, in other words, from the conventions of a well-trodden social space. In an attempt to explain Thunevin’s originality, we have chosen to take a conventionalist perspective to learn from the company’s success. After having started from scratch, Jean-Luc Thunevin is now emblematic of the « garage wine » movement. The company has taken its flagship wine, Château Valandraud, to the very top of the Saint-Emilion appellation by becoming the premier grand cru classé of Saint-Emilion in the 2012 classification (Saint- Emilion wines are re-assessed in this classification every ten years). This exceptional achievement led us to use the conventionalist perspective in conducting an intrinsic case study combined with an instrumental case study (Stake, 1994, 1995) in analyzing what Thunevin has achieved.