Bordeaux schoolchildren as young as six are to be encouraged to learn the rudiments of winemaking and viticulture.
The Bordeaux Wine Bureau (CIVB) has launched a programme called La Gironde Verte with regional junior schools, which can apply to send students to local vineyards.
With the help of booklets entitled Mon Cahier des Vignes (My Vine Workbook), pupils can identify different seasons in the vines, are prompted to taste grapes to see if they are ripe, and are given questions to ask winemakers such as ‘What’s your favourite piece of equipment?’ and ‘What do you like most and least about your job?’.
Separate booklets are provided to teachers, winemakers, and local mayors explaining the aims of the programme and what it would mean to create a Vign’école or Vine School.
The winemakers’ version explains they will be ‘sharing the heritage of the Gironde region with local children’.
The Gironde Verte programme is aimed at students in years Classe Preperatoire to Cours Moyen 2 (junior school students from ages 6 to 10 or 11).
CIVB president Georges Haushalter told Decanter.com, ‘We are hoping this will be an effective way to introduce the young people of our region to the environmental and economic importance of the wine industry.’
The initiative is 100% financed by the CIVB, which pays for transport from the schools to the wineries, and provides materials, from booklets and stickers to insurance.
Haushalter said the project would not be marketed to schools, which would have to ‘make the contact and sign up for the initiative’.
‘Our objective is to protect the heritage of our region, while promoting an understanding of the civilisation of wine.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux