ARGENTINA: Youth gain winemaking skills as center celebrates 120 years
Winemaking and education at Salesian Center in Rodeo del Medio has grown throughout its 120-year history
(MissionNewswire) Over the last several years many wine makers have graduated from the Salesian Center in Rodeo del Medio, Argentina, and work around the globe. Youth come away from the program learning the value of the winemaking work and have a respect for nature. The center has constantly evolved over its history.
The first bottle of Catholic Mass wine was produced in the center 120 years ago. Today, with the support of the Catholic University of Cuyo Salesiano, the center continues to educate youth and produce excellent wines.
In 1901, lessons in viticulture and enology began and the experimental cellar where wines are made was built. In 1905, the first workshop was created in a small room with a wooden table, running water and lighting with paraffin lamps. Starting in the 1930s, the center expanded to teach the cultivation of olives.
In 1965, Salesian missionaries launched the first faculty of oenology in Latin America. Following that, a wine tower was designed and launched to respond to the expanding wine industry in 1968. The wine tower allowed for larger volumes of wine to be created to keep up with the growing market demand.
In 1983, Salesian missionaries expanded the educational offerings in the field of winemaking with degrees in professional winemaking. Later, in 2007, the entire wine cellar was updated with new technologies for the production of wine and to increase the level of education offered. Today, many of the world’s great wine authorities graduated from the Salesian Center.
The Salesian Center in Rodeo del Medio is not the only winemaking education offered by the Salesians. The Don Bosco School of winemaking and viticulture in the city of Mendoza is in its 55th year in the heart of Argentina’s wine country. The world-renowned school has consistently maintained high standards in the science and art of winemaking.
More than a quarter of the people in Argentina live in conditions of poverty with no formal employment and poor-quality education, according to the World Bank. The country’s high school dropout rate is close to 37 percent and youth account for a third of those unemployed. Almost 12 percent of children ages 5-17 are working instead of being in school and 20 percent need government assistance. Many face malnutrition, a lack of clean water and sewage, and inadequate housing.
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Salesian Missions – Argentina
World Bank – Argentina