Geographia Polonica (2020) vol. 93, iss. 3
Rebirth of viticulture and associated changes in the rural areas of Lower Silesia, SW Poland
This paper addresses the problem of how the reborn winemaking in Lower Silesia may contribute to the social, landscape and functional changes of rural areas. Newly established vineyards refer back to the local traditions of grape cultivations which vanished for the variety of reasons. Vineyards are typically small family businesses. The profiles of winemakers show that they are most often educated persons, arriving from cities, who follow their passion and consider winemaking as a supplementary source of income. They are aware of the value of local products, traditions and harmonious landscape and expose these values in both the process of winemaking itself, as well as in developing wine tourism. They support and organize new activities such as music events, recreational events, and guest presentations. Vineyards are new elements of the rural landscape, but they are historically justified and harmoniously integrated with the topography, whereas associated infrastructure usually represents good examples of revitalization of existing buildings, occasionally of architectural value. Due to the family-type business on the vineyards it is rather premature to infer their direct positive influence on local employment and incomes. Nevertheless, due to the growth of wine tourism local suppliers are expected to increasingly benefit from this development trend.