In what might be the most Italian move of all time, Italian lawmakers are trying to get winemaking into primary schools.
According to Quartz, senator Dario Stefàno has drafted a bill to get school children in Italy between the ages of six and 13 more wine education. He hopes that schools will start dedicated one hour a week to “wine culture and history,” meaning that soon, a seven-year-old Italian child will probably know more about the differences between a Barolo, Barbaresco, and Brunello than most of us can hope to learn in a lifetime.
Stefàno explains that Italy has “more vines than churches,” and that wine production is something “all Italians identify with, regardless of their regional provenance.” Italy is one of the world’s largest producers of wine and every region has its own wineries, so it makes sense to include such a large part of the country’s culture into its education curriculum.
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The senators wants to make it clear that he doesn’t want to teach the children about how to turn their grape juice into wine, but instead wants to use the curriculum as a way to “add to the cultural baggage taught in schools related to food education.” Plus, he hopes that it might get more students interested in pursuing a career in the gastronomic or tourism fields.
The idea of studying booze in school isn’t a completely new idea, though so far, it has been limited to students in college. Paul Smith’s College made headlines when it decided to offer a craft-beer minor, while Cal Poly Pomona not only offers a hands-on brewing course, but also now sells the brews the class makes in the school’s brewpub. Wine is also a popular course of study: UC Davis offers a number of winemaking courses, and students at Cornell can even take a class called “Wine and Food Pairing Principles.”