We Are Groot Constantia

This month we celebrate the women of Groot Constantia! Meet Nellie Cloete, Rochelle Tarentaal and Louise van der Westhuizen. #WomensMonth #WomensDay #FeelGrootConstantia

Nellie Cloete

Background

Originally from the town of Worcester, Nellie Cloete left Worcester at the young age of 29 in 1983 to start a post at Groot Constantia, little did she know she would stay on for 35 years. Having previously worked in a kitchen in Worcester before starting her journey with Groot Constantia, Nellie had been trained in early childhood courses through a local early learning centre, due to her love and passion of working with children.

What is your role at Groot Constantia?

I am a caretaker at the on-site crèche; taking care of the children is part of my daily role here on the farm. When I first joined Groot Constantia I worked in the vineyards, then a few years back I started helping out behind the wine tasting counter to assist on busy days.

Groot Constantia is currently celebrating 333 years of winemaking heritage. How does it feel to be a part of something so special and knowing you play a role in that?

I am very proud of my work and what I contribute to Groot Constantia.

How long have you been with Groot Constantia?

About 35 years.

Something a colleague said:

Honey (assistant-caretaker at the creche):  “Nellie is a god-fearing woman, selfless, caring and humble. She always goes out of her way to accommodate someone else. Working together for 10 years at the creche, we have a great relationship.

Louise van der Westhuizen

Background

Originally from Krugersdorp, my family and I moved to Cape Town towards the end of 1997, and I grew up in Bellville. I always took an interest in wine, and after high school, I decided to study for a degree in viticulture.

What is your role at Groot Constantia?

I am the assistant wine-maker. I assist and coordinate in planning each day. After deciding on blends with Boela, I make and stabilize the decided blend and then get it ready for bottling. Each batch of wine is treated as a block. Kept separately, kind of like playing a game of ‘Sudoku’.

Groot Constantia is currently celebrating 333 years of winemaking heritage. How does it feel knowing you play a role in that as part of the Groot Constantia family?

Considering the history of the farm, it is humbling knowing that, and I am hoping I can make a mark.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst taking a lunch break on the farm?

The tourists who sometimes lie down in the middle of the road or walkway to take photos, and tourists getting lost and somehow finding their way to my office which is in the same building of the tasting room.

What is your favourite Groot Constantia Wine and why?

It would have to be the legendary Grand Constance. At the moment however I have a slight obsession with our Chardonnay and the Gouverners Reserve White.

After a busy day at Groot Constantia, what do you do to unwind and recharge for the next day?

A good run, sometimes a session of yoga and definitely a good book to curl with up!

Is there anything in particular that you are proud of from your work at Groot Constantia?

Whilst I haven’t been here very long, I am proud of our team and how we all get along. In a short time we have all managed to form a tight knit connection. I certainly enjoy working here and makes it easier if the people are incredibly warm and welcoming too! In such a short space of time, I have learnt quite a bit from Boela. He is such a great person, always smiling and cracking a joke and always willing to lend a hand if help is needed.

Fun facts:

I am a self-confessed chocoholic and unashamedly a homebody! I love cooking and I am always trying new and different things out in the kitchen.

Rochelle Tarentaal

Background

Before applying for the post as personal assistant to the CEO; Mr Jean Naude, Rochelle had been working for Groot Constantia for 10 years as front of house at one of three of their busy tasting rooms. Originally from Port Elizabeth, Rochelle is as much a Capetonian as the rest, enjoying leisurely strolls with her family on the beach and one on one time with her young daughter is something she regularly enjoys in the 15 years she has lived here.

What is your role at Groot Constantia?

My role is to oversee and perform many of the day-to-day administrative tasks that Mr. Naude requires me to do, helping any colleagues with administrative tasks, client liaisons, and making sure everything runs smoothly in the background is what I do best.

Groot Constantia is currently celebrating 333 years of winemaking heritage. How does it feel knowing you play a role in that as part of the Groot Constantia family?

It feels good knowing in my 10 years that I have been here that I play a role in something that important and special.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen whilst taking a lunch break on the farm?

Definitely the tourists! A group of young adults over-indulged in some wine tasting and without hesitation and on a whim took to the lawn on a sunny day and rolled around. Boela Gerber (our wine-maker) and I stood close by and had such a laugh at their expense.

What is your favourite Groot Constantia Wine and why?

At first, I loved the Groot Constantia Rood, now I have a love affair with the Brut Rose MCC, which is my all-time favourite!

After a busy day at Grot Constantia, what do you do to unwind and recharge for the next day?

After a long day at the office, I love to unwind by watching my favourite soapie or kicking up my feet to a good Tyler Perry romcom.

Is there anything in particular that you are proud of from your work at Groot Constantia?

I am particularly proud of the fact that I pushed myself to apply for this position; coming from a cashier at the tasting room to the CEO’s PA is quite a jump and an achievement. When I applied almost two years ago, I was extremely nervous about getting the job, but hard work and perseverance pays off in the end!

Fun facts:

My favourite actor/director is Tyler Perry. Besides enjoying the occasional film, I love spending time with my kids and family.

 

Groot Constantia

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