Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a very British view of life in a small village in Alicante province, my experience of Spain, of Spaniards and sometimes of the other Britons who live nearby. The tabs beneath the header photo link to other blogs written whilst I was living in other parts of Spain, to my articles written for the now defunct TIM magazine and to my most recent photo albums.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Centro de interpretación Casa del Mármol y del Vino

It was, I think, called the Wine Resource Centre - well it wasn't because it's name was in Valenciá - but now it is called Centro de Interpretación Casa del Marmól y del Vino - The Sociocultural Institution for the Interpretation of Marble and Wine. Casa doesn't translate easily in this context. Even then you think they could have worked on something snappier. Perhaps the reason they haven't got around to giving the exhibit a new sign is that they are going to need quite a big board to fit all those words on. The idea had been talked about for quite a long time but the actual implementation seemed to happen with remarkable speed. Perhaps funding had to be spent to a timetable or somesuch. Perhaps that's why there is no sign.

The idea of a celebration of wine and marble is a perfectly reasonable thing to do in Pinoso where the two are big economic activities. Marble is the biggest moneyspinner in the town by far because of the huge open cast quarry. It's owned by Pinoso but generally hidden from view behind Monte Coto mountain. It's the village on the other side of the hill that gets the blighted view, the noise and the dust in return for very little economic benefit. Wine of course has been important in the area for centuries. We try to reflect that importance in our own house.

With funding from Levantina, one of the big stone companies that quarries the marble, and a bit more from Pinoso Town Hall for the wine exhibits we now have the Interpretstion Centre in this building that used to be used for occasional exhibitions, book launches and lots of meetings.

The new venture opened last week but we took until today to get there. The man who looks after the building showed us around the whole thing. It's not that big to be brutally honest and, even if you took the time to read all the information presented in Castillian, Valencian and very acceptable English, you could probably do it in twenty minutes  Our guide made it a much lengthier affair but we also got a lot more information and probably someone else to say hello to as we walk around the town.

My personal favourite was the video that went with the wine exhibition. It showed a family out picking the grapes and loading them into the trailer behind a tractor. Not a lot of rush about the process. Time to stop to eat and to drink wine from a wineskin whilst the background music provided the right sort of mood. It reminded me of the film that goes with Video Games by Lana del Rey if you know it. In the marble exhibits the quotes from locals were what I liked best - such as the advice from a mother to her children - if you hear the sound of the charges being set you go and hide!

Nice little addition to what Pinoso has to offer. I hope it attracts a few more visitors. There was nobody else to look around with us today and I guessed we had been the only visitors all morning. Mind you it will probably help when they get a sign. At the moment, only we locals know it's there.

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Para abrir una cantera hasta la década de los cincuenta era necesario un cabrestante, cable, dos grapas, ocho o diez picos, dos mazas, diez o doce cuñas con sus flejes y, muy importante una escuadra para que el bloque estuviera a escuadra y poco a poco se iba comprando otros.

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