Wine, Water, and Ways of Life: Community and Climate Adaptation Knowledge in Andalucía, Spain

Project Highlights

This project explores the nexus between climate science and cultural heritage in order to address a transnational agricultural crisis: winemaking. Specifically, this project aims to understand how stakeholders in the wine region of Andalucía, Spain define and use climate adaptation knowledge, and how the knowledge exchanged by these experts affects adaptive decision-making in this community.

Project Summary

Granada Spain

Led by Communication Studies PhD candidate Cate Bruns, this project employs a mixed-methods approach to examine how climate adaptation is represented, negotiated, and decided at the hyper-local level. To do so, this dissertation interweaves in-person semi-structured field interviews with wine producers and regulators from three Andalusian provinces—Cádiz, Málaga, and Granada—with a content analysis of local newspaper and policy texts to investigate questions such as:

  • How does the Andalusian wine community define a “climate expert”?
  • How do Andalusian wine community experts define and use “climate knowledge”?
  • How does the knowledge exchanged by these experts affect adaptive decision-making within the Andalusian wine community?

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.

Image: Bodegas La Divisia, Granada, November 2022
Photo Source: Cate Bruns

Project Team

Cate Bruns

Catherine J. Bruns
Ph.D. Candidate

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)
  • 2022 MnDRIVE Human and Data Summer Fellowship
  • 2022-23 Environmental Humanities Initiative Fellowship
  • 2022 Department of Communication Studies Research-Creative-Travel Grant
  • 2022 Institute on the Environment Fall Mini Grant