Below you’ll find copies of all participant submissions. Click on the participant’s name to view their full submission.
Participant registration forms are stored here in Dropbox.
Project Information Forms
|Your Name||Patricia Sicat|
|TRP Cohort Assignment||Spring 2023 Cohort B: Americas with Online Intensive|
|Study Cohort Members|
Abdul Semakula, Joya Bhandari, and Lourenco Azevedo
|Working Title of The Project (which we will use to refer to it throughout the series)|
Kalche Wine Cooperative in Fletcher, Vermont.
Fletcher a town in Franklin County, Vermont, US
|Nature of The Project (e.g. building, new community, economic development, etc.)|
Kalche, a woman/nonbinary founded winery, who are also worker-owners. All three owners are from the food and beverage industry. The winery is located in Fletcher, a town in northern Vermont, USA. The winery is small, with a soon-to-come canning line and vine plantations on the property. It is only a year old.
A worker-owned cooperative focused on supporting the local community, shifting views on winemaking and the hierarchical nature of wine production. Kalche’s desire is to retreat from traditional structures and create new ways of working together.
They are a worker co-op and also a wine co-op. They operate under by-laws outlining how employees will be hired, and tenets to maintain equal ownership with flexible avenues for buy-ins, eventual benefits, and a holistic emphasis on quality of life for the team. Since they were founded majority, minority-owned they plan to keep it this way. This cooperative model allows them to achieve their vision of a worker-designed economy since it allows everybody a voice, equal vote and agency.
Founders want to create a “quintessential American wine”, which represents the typical example of American wine, meaning fruit wines. The winery is experimenting with blueberries, plums, and red hybrid grapes, combining to make a craft fruit wine. Kalche also works with apples, blueberries, stone fruit, cranberries, honey, maple, sap and soon with flowers and botanicals, which are growing on site. Currently, Kalche is actively farming a 4-acre vineyard in Huntington, VT, and for the moment, they rely predominantly on Waitsfield for their supply of grapes.
|Why do you think this project is appropriate for the course assignment?|
Winemakers are usually born into the wine trade, inheriting land or craft. Kalche sees a different way. They want to spark this change by offering opportunities to marginalized individuals as they believe that “climate justice is racial justice is economic justice”. Centering on diversity and inclusion, with an emphasis on worker’s rights and equity, they have established themselves as a cooperative, bringing marginalized voices into ownership roles. All of this combined is a direct way of connecting many stakeholders in the world of wine.
The bounty of Vermont is a huge appeal for Kalche. Vermont has a growing number of young producers looking for fruits, grapes grown without pesticides or herbicides. These types of fruits are in high demand and there is a short supply. In addition, Kalche was able to obtain the land for wine production from an expert retired wine maker, and the land was left abandoned, so Kalche took over and revived this place.
This connection to rejuvenating abandoned land plus their strong tenet (belief) in climate justice and sustainability, greatly affect land use, practices, and the people involved in the process of making wine. They are looking to utilize language, verbiage surrounding wine and transparency to make a change while also creating a beautiful fruit wine.
More on cooperative structure - Kalche’s departure from corporate ownership structures to a cooperative ownership structure enables regenerative development by;
The founders’ understanding and intention to use climate and environmentally-friendly practices along the production value chain shows a focus on higher-order value.
|Additional Useful Information|
From their website:
“Our farming and production practices pay tribute to the pancultural origins of winemaking by working with and preserving the bounty that our environment provides for us. We get creative with hybrid grapes, local fruits, and various fermentation methods to maximize resourcefulness, limit environmental impact, and minimize waste.” They are returning to roots and learning from how things used to be done.
I don’t know in the description of the website, what they state is what they dream of or if they are really doing it. I mean when they state:
Kalchē Wine Co exists to broaden the definition of wine. Paramount in this shift is addressing and dismantling racism, sexism, and colonialism in wine, which we are doing by amplifying and advocating for historically abused and marginalized voices in the industry. We have opted for slow, deliberate, and democratic growth by forming cooperatively, and will help lead the way to a new, sustainable, worker-designed economy. Our farming and production practices pay tribute to the pancultural origins of winemaking by working with and preserving the bounty that our environment provides for us. We get creative with hybrid grapes, local fruits, and various fermentation methods to maximize resourcefulness, limit environmental impact, and minimize waste. Join Kalchē in ditching the status quo and exploring The Next World of Wine™.
According to the article that was shared (see below), it seems that Kalche wants to change the definition of how wine is produced and by whom. They want to remove all barriers and create opportunities for everyone, especially, for those who may have been working in the fields for years helping to make wine.
|Date Created||February 22, 2023|
Use of Materials Agreements