Toddlers Amidst the Wine Tanks

By Ray Isle Posted September 20, 2007

By way of the estimable Dr. Vino, here's a charming essay written by Gabriella Opaz, a kindergarten teacher in Spain, about taking her class of 55 (!) five-year-olds to the Torres bodega to learn about wine and winemaking. It's a good read, partly because it makes clear without belaboring the point how essential a part of Spanish culture wine is—and, conversely, how non-central it is here in the U.S. of A.

It also reminds me of a conversation I had a few years back with Rita Jammet, one of the owners of La Caravelle (before it closed), who told me quite fervently how she wanted to create a program in conjunction with the New York School Board to educate grade school children about wine—to familiarize them with it, so that they would understand what a wonderful and essential part of life it could be. I think at the time I simply nodded a lot and agreed what a fine idea this was, because she was so thrilled that it seemed mean-spirited to express exactly how little chance there was of such a thing ever coming to pass, i.e., zero.

And yet, there's her inspiration made reality, an hour south of Barcelona. Sort of heartening, in an odd little way.

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