Italian legislators have introduced a novel educational proposal — teaching kids about cultural heritage and the driving force behind their country’s economy!

New legislation would devote an hour per week to teach kids ages six to thirteen about “wine culture and history” at school.

Quartz has the story:

Alongside sprouting beans and lentils, winemaking has been an occasional feature of science classes for Italian children for decades. At age seven, I remember making white and red varieties, and waiting with my classmates for them to ferment into wine. They turned into vinegar—so we learned that grapes make wine and vinegar, too.

Now, a piece of legislature is asking for a more structured space for wine in Italian classrooms—teaching its history and role in Italy’s culture.
With nearly 5 billion liters produced in 2015, Italy is the world’s largest producer (pdf) of wine. Every region in the country has wineries, making wine a common thread of the national story.

That’s why Dario Stefàno, a senator with the group Sinistra Ecologia Libertà (“Left Ecology Freedom”), has drafted a bill to get Italian children, aged six to 13, to learn about wine in primary schools, with one hour a week dedicated to “wine culture and history.”

While some found the proposal to be funny, it’s a serious endeavor.

“We have more vines than churches,” Stefàno said, explaining that, unlike other traditional products (such as oil), wine production is something all Italians identify with, regardless of their regional provenance. The bill, which he presented on March 24 (link in Italian), notes how winemaking is an integral cultural part of Mediterranean cultures as well as a large source of employment (1.25 million jobs).

The legislation aims not only to preserve Italy’s rich wine-producing heritage, but to curb alcohol abuse by teaching kids how to properly enjoy wine.

Novel idea, indeed.

[Featured Image By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium – Planeta winery, CC BY-SA 2.0]

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