Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Kevin A. Yelvington, D.Phil.

Committee Member

Rebecca K. Zarger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Y. Romero-Daza, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sylvia Wilson Thomas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James R. Mihelcic, Ph.D.


agritourism, California, FEW nexus, hydrosocial cycle, political ecology, sustainability, anthropology


This study demonstrates the interrelationships of people, food, energy, and water associated with Temecula Valley’s wine industry and reveals contradictions and biases in how people view these resources, which ultimately shape management and policies. The FEW (Food, Energy, and Water) Nexus is an approach increasingly used by policy- and decision-makers to understand the interrelationship of several resources. However, a FEW Nexus approach often lacks in social aspects that influence environmentally and economically sustainable outcomes, especially in the wine and wine tourism industry. When quantitative and qualitative data are available, the other challenge is which assessment to use. Two assessments often employed by decision-makers are Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Systems Dynamic (SD) modeling, and each can be reductionist assessments due to model and data limitations and researcher bias. In addition, anthropology lacks ethnographies that focus on human responses to multiple resources to provide qualitative data for these models. Therefore, this ethnography examines how stakeholders in Temecula Valley’s wine industry relate to food (wine), energy, and water, especially when facing a significant drought in Southern California during 2015-2016. The results indicate that people’s ethnicity and role in the wine industry shape perception of resources and affect how stakeholders collect and share quantitative and qualitative data for FEW Nexus assessments. Stakeholders demonstrated varying levels of resistance to internal and external policies in order to support Temecula Valley’s terroir and aesthetics. To meet the challenge of including ethnographic data into FEW Nexus assessments, this researcher recommends using a hybrid model that combines the strengths of LCA and SD modeling and using inputs collected by a diverse research team to understand policy resistance and provide context-sensitive solutions.