In Mid-March, Italian Senator and member of the Puglia community, Dario Stefano, suggested to Parliament that Wine History and Civilization be a mandatory subject of education in Italian public schools. Enlisting the help of wine historians, enologists, and other experts, Stefano held a press conference to unravel his plan for students to have 1 hour a week of wine education.
Citing a disconnect with a history that has been “linked to grape growing and wine,” Stefano preached that the children of Italy need to know what built their country into the largest producer of wine in the world today. Wine is seen as an ambassador to the world for Italian people and many who travel to the country do so to partake in the rich history of wine growing and production.
He later spoke about young people and their appetite for consumption of alcohol with a lack of appreciation for its place in the Italian home for years.
“Young people around 15 years in age consume alcohol at least once a week but they do so outside the home. And their logic is that of having a good time. We need to bring wine back into our homes, into our schools, and into the core of Mediterranean culture because wine is not for getting drunk: It is the origin of our identity and our belonging. We need to bring wine back to being a beverage of the people.”
We have yet to see if his outcry was met with positivity in the Parliament, but it is a valiant cause and something that could shift something from cultural consumption to academic subject matter.