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Viticulturist Pietie le Roux – Drinks Business Green Personality of the Year



La Motte Viticulturist and Senior Farm Manager, Pietie le Roux, who has been with the Franschhoek property for just shy of 30 years, has received international recognition for the important role he plays in the estate’s internationally recognised efforts with sustainable farming.

At La Motte, purchased by conservationist, Dr Anton Rupert in 1970, environmental management remains a priority with current owner, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and her husband and CEO of the estate, Hein Koegelenberg.

Sharing their commitment, Pietie accepts responsibility for the biological farming and other sustainable initiatives on La Motte, as well as the other farms in Nabot, Elgin, Elim and Paarl. These initiatives include:

  • The rehabilitation of the sensitive fynbos ecosystems.
  • The mountain side on La Motte has been registered with Cape Nature as a Voluntary Conservation Site.
  • A nursery hosts a total of 44 different indigenous plants.
  • Red Data species, the Franschhoek Blushing Bride (Serruria florida) has been rehabilitated
  • The Fan Leaf Aloes or Aloe plicatilis (Asphodelaceae) were marked with GPS co-ordinates.
  • The cultivation of the exotic Disa species.
  • Ethereal Oil plantations used in the production of a range of body products called Arômes de La Motte.

With his proactive approach with regard to environmental management in the winelands, Pietie is part of a committee focusing on formalising Biological Farming and setting guidelines for audits and the registration of the concept.

Pietie is also responsible for rolling out La Motte’s integrated sustainability policy with regard to waste and water management, carbon emission reduction, carbon footprint, etc. as well as the integrated environmental management of the estate.

La Motte’s list of certifications, accreditations and awards includes:

    • Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI)

    • ISO 14001 Certification

    • HACCP Certification

    • Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) Membership

    • EnviroWines Certification

    • Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) Accreditation

    • Eco-Efficiency Award

    • Farming for the Future Certification

  • Winner in the category for Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices in the Great Wine Capitals of the World – Best of Wine Tourism for South Africa for two consecutive years – 2013 and 2014.

Having played an important role in the local community for such a long time, Pietie is also passionate about the people of La Motte. He is very much involved with the upliftment of the local community and the running of the families’ workers’ village with its health clinic, crèche and day-care centre as well as a host of training and life orientation programmes. He also heads the regular training of La Motte staff members as part of the WIETA programme i.r.o. aspects such as vineyard management, wine-making, cellaring, vehicle maintenance, fire-fighting, Health & Safety and first aid.


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