Wineries and education. Programs that have a positive impact on women and young people 

wineries and education

According to information from the Ongoing Survey of Homes in Argentina by the National Institute of Censuses and Statistics (Indec), 30% of the population drops out of secondary education. However, thanks to the entry of wineries into the field of education and the partnerships they have formed with different institutions, Argentine wine producers have found an opportunity to make a difference.  

Wineries and education: a focus on the community

Wineries and education

An example of a winery working to improve education can be found in Bodega Budeguer, in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, who are also committed to sustainability through the Bodegas de Argentina Protocols. In partnership with the Fondo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes (Fondec), they provide scholarships to young people so they can complete their education. After examining the level of education among their workforce, the winery decided to offer support to the partners and families of staff as well as members of the wider community. In addition, they provide training and work on the re-use of products at the local school.    

Argentine wineries’ commitment to education is also represented by the partnership between the Fundación Bemberg and the Grupo Peñaflor with the Fundación Pescar. For the past three years, in Gualtallary, they have been implementing a program that provides support for life planning linked to education and employment for young people in their final year at the Hermenegildo Hidalgo (Centro Pescar) Secondary School and for women with no formal professional experience.

“All the participants at the Centro Pescar completed secondary school and are currently in higher education and/or working,” says Silvia Rueda de Uranga, the Director General of the Fundación Pescar. In the two previous editions, 23 young people were involved and all of them completed the program. 

Wineries and education

Lautaro (17) went through the program in 2023. “While I was finishing school they provided us with the tools to develop personal skills and shared expertise about viticulture and tourism, which helped me to find work in those areas.” After completing his studies, he’s now applying to university. “The biggest change was the personal development, to have the confidence to believe that I could be a manager, to apply for work, get through a job interview and draw up a curriculum.” 

Meanwhile, through a partnership with Fondec, Bodega Trivento are offering scholarships financed through sales of Trivento White Malbec. Jesus Brito, the Head of General Supplies and a partner at Trivento, graduated from the semi-remote Education Completion program and is an example of wineries and education offering the chance to improve his work prospects. “As the course went on, I got the opportunity to improve my work prospects, but I needed to complete my secondary school studies. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be here, in this job, today.” 

Wineries and education

“I had a very good experience with my daughter. She would ask me to read her stories at night and I would, but I sometimes stumbled over the words or couldn’t interpret what I was reading. Thanks to the program I greatly improved my reading and I’m very happy to be able to enjoy the experience much more.”  

About wineries and education impact: María José Martínez Figueroa, who received a scholarship from the program for the children of partners, says that the support came “during difficult times at secondary school and starting university. It opened the doors to introduce me to new people and helped me to learn and grow. In 2021 I did a workshop on vocational guidance and realized what I wanted to do in life,” says the 20 year old.

“It helped me to become a little more independent every day and contribute to the family finances, helping my mother, who was bearing the whole burden. It helped me to begin to manage my money more efficiently and taught me about the importance of prioritizing my studies.” 

A new horizon for wineries and education 

Wineries and education

The Fundación Pescar, Fundación Bemberg and Grupo Peñaflor, in collaboration with the Centro Pescar, also work on the Spotlight on Women program. “The initiative is focused on women, mothers and girls in Gualtallary in their final school year, developing personal skills and expertise in viticulture and tourism,” says Silvia Rueda de Uranga.

It thus prepares women for new working opportunities and continuing their studies. Nélida, a 33 year old mother of two, was one of six women who completed the program in 2023. “I learned to write a curriculum, about work at a vineyard and at hotels, which opens up new opportunities. I got new chances but the most important thing was being able to return to my studies.” She is taking primary and secondary school courses and is excited about graduating in 2025.  

Women in the Spotlight is also implemented training in soft skills through a pair of guidance counsellors from the Fundación Pescar. Their team of professionals is specialized in technical training in the fields of viticulture and tourism, holding practical classes in pruning and plant training at the wineries that are part of the   Grupo Peñaflor as well as practical classes at the Hotel Chardonnay and La Buena Cosecha restaurant in Tupungato.

Jennifer, a 30 year old participant from El Peral and mother of three, says, “With the program I was able to earn experience and to learn more about how wineries, vineyards and restaurants work and that’s very useful for me because in Tupungato, where I live, that experience is greatly valued. It’s a very good opportunity.” 

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