Wine, Water, and Ways of Life: Climate Journalism and Community Knowledge

Project Highlights

This project examines the nexus between climate journalism and community knowledge in order to address a transnational agricultural crisis: winemaking. Specifically, this project aims to understand what factors influence adaptive decision-making in the Spanish wine region of Andalusia, and how these deeply personal decisions are represented in local climate journalism.

Project Summary

Minnesota Wines

Led by Communication Studies PhD candidate Cate Bruns, this project will employ a mixed-methods approach to explore how media representations of climate change reflect community knowledge in the context of Spanish winemaking. To do so, this research will combine a framing analysis of Spanish newspaper articles and field interviews with Andalusian wine community stakeholders to investigate the following: 

  • How is the relationship between wine and climate change represented in local Andalusian media? 
  • How is the relationship between wine and climate change understood by members of the Andalusian wine community? 
  • What overlaps and disconnects exist in Andalusian media representation of wine and climate change and community understanding of these topics? 

Connections to Minnesota

The results of this project will advance critical climate science that is highly transferable to local, state, and regional agricultural communities. Identifying material and and cultural tensions within the winemaking sector can help MCAP encourage the implementation of evidence-based climate adaptation strategies for other vulnerable specialty crops, which is a critical need in the Midwest (Kistner et al., 2018). Examining local media coverage of specialized climate issues can also provide MCAP a communications roadmap for how to correct misunderstanding between local journalists and agricultural producers and improve knowledge exchange between these sectors. Ultimately, this project will push us to critically reflect on who holds the power in storytelling, what defines climate knowledge, and how journalists can better incorporate community voices and expertise in climate coverage. 

Project Team

Cate Bruns

Catherine J. Bruns
Ph.D. Student

Heidi Roop

Heidi Roop

Core work areas


Kistner, E., Kellner, O., Andresen, J., Todey, D., & Morton, L. W. (2018). Vulnerability of specialty crops to short-term climatic variability and adaptation strategies in the Midwestern USA. Climatic Change, 146(1–2), 145–158.


National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, Center for OLDest Ice EXploration (COLDEX)

MnDRIVE Human and Data Fellowship