HomeProgressRaboso di Cecchetto, a wine with an inclusive taste

Raboso di Cecchetto, a wine with an inclusive taste

Corporate social responsibility can translate into extraordinary life experiences, as happens in the Cecchetto winery in Tezze di Piave, which for twenty years has been producing a line of Raboso almost entirely managed by a group of people with Down syndrome.

Twenty years of inclusive wine

The successful experience began in 2005, when a member of the Raboso del Piave brotherhood proposed to Giorgio Cecchetto and his wife to organize a few Sundays in the cellar together with families with people with Down syndrome. The idea was to be together, eat and harvest.

One Sunday after another, the initiative continues over the years. Families with children with Down syndrome organize themselves and found the Treviso section of the Italian Association of People with Down Syndrome (AIPD). Today, twenty years after its debut, the project continues with Giorgio Cecchetto's sons, who lead the company (benefit company) with an interest in common, environmental and social well-being.

From harvest to bottling

'We have reached the twentieth harvest. The participants - including 'boys' now in their fifties - come on the first hottest Saturday afternoon in October, together with families and educators, and dedicate themselves to the harvest of two varieties of Raboso. Then, with a machine they separate the grapes from the stem.

They press the grapes and they go as far as obtaining the must, collected in demijohns. We then take care of the winemaking, says Sara Cecchetto, sustainability manager of the family company.

In March-April, the guys go back to bottling with the traditional method and manual corking with a heat-shrink cap. A safe system, which only requires the use of a hairdryer. Finally, they glue the labels they designed during the winter to the bottles, complete with QR code that refers to video of the harvest.

Two thousand bottles a year branded AIPD Treviso

Every year, the project results in around two thousand numbered bottles which the AIPD Treviso association sells for self-financing at Vinitaly (in the Veneto Region stand), in markets, as solidarity favors or to companies for Christmas gift baskets.

The Raboso project it is one of many that the association organizes to promote the social autonomy of its members. But over the years it has transformed into a close relationship with the Cecchettos, which is nourished by meetings and joint initiatives.

Inclusion that works

'It's nice to be with them, talk, learn about new engagements', says Sara Cecchetto. A special observer (due to closeness and continuity) of the growth of the kids who arrived in the cellar twenty years ago. And today they keep in their wallet a photo of Giorgio Cecchetti, who passed away a few years ago.

About fifteen people who participate in the project, some work in companies, others do sports. The personal growth is palpable. The 40-50 year olds coordinate the activities and follow the newbies. They are very cohesive and sensitive. When a girl had a crisis during her first harvest, the whole group stopped to hug and encourage her. Then everyone resumed work together.

Work skills of people with Down syndrome vary, obviously. Generalising, in the experience in the cellar we observe a propensity to carry out methodical, simple, repetitive tasks. And an ability to maintain low concentration compared to the standards needed in an eight-hour work day.

From wine to ancient wheat pasta

In the partnership A second project developed between the Cecchettos and the AIPD Treviso association two years ago: the cultivation of an ancient wheat of the Montana variety and the production of pasta and flour.

The highlight is the threshing, in July, with early twentieth century equipment supplied by the 'I Frascassati' group. As with wine, kids with Down syndrome design the labels to put on pasta and flour packages. The event, on 13 July 2024, is open to all families with children.

Feeding the territory

Social responsibility on the Cecchetto farm it is expressed in a form of inclusion that embraces the entire territory and its inhabitants.

Among other initiatives, we remember the training meetings for children on the life of bees, in the company's apiary, and the events in the forest (FSC certified) with middle school students on environmental issues, with the planting of new trees and the creation of a herbarium.

Marta Strinati

(On the cover, some labels created by the AIPD Treviso guys)

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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