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TRAVEL & LEISURE

LA VERRIÈRE

La Verrière, a medieval priory in the South of France, sits at the heart of the wine estate that produces Chene Bleu-- critically acclaimed wines that eschew the use of chemicals. It operates as a fully staffed guest villa and elegant bed & breakfast recognised for mindful luxury, gastronomy and environmental sustainability. Tucked away in a pristine UNESCO-protected Nature reserve in Provence, it enjoys an idyllic mountain location busting with flowers and wildlife.

SUSTAINABILITY PURPOSE

La Verrière's history dates back to the ninth century– for more than 1100 years, people have been living in concert with the land on this ancient site, enjoying full interdependency with the surrounding Nature. This rich history informs every decision to protect and preserve the estate’s exceptional ecosystem. At every step, consideration has been given to prioritising this visual, experiential, and operational harmony. It provides guests with an opportunity to step away from the hustle and bustle, and reconnect with essential truths. Cutting edge programs nurture the biodiversity: “SustainaBEElity” replaces chemicals with bees; bamboos filter the winery’s effluent; sheep graze as lawnmowers, the potager and orchard are cultivated biodynamically.

La Verriere logo

Established

1994

Headquarters

Crestet, Provence - France

First Certified

2023

Categories

Hospitality

Employees

14

Website

laverriere.com

Distribution

Worldwide

A WORD FROM THE FOUNDERS

Our passion is delivering hospitality of the highest order. We are convinced that dedication to our guests and respect for our exceptional surroundings are not only compatible but beautifully synergistic. The meeting of minds that ensues is greater than the sum of the parts, hence our motto in Latin, ‘Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis’-- Not mine, not yours, but ours.”

XAVIER & NICOLE ROLET

La Verriere Positive Luxury

BUTTERFLY MARK TESTIMONIAL

From the get-go, we felt Positive Luxury shared our belief that the forceful and fearless pursuit of rigorously sustainable practices doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your guests’ exceptional experiences or comfort. Being off the beaten path makes it harder to stay abreast of new ideas emerging in sustainable hospitality. Thus, it’s a real privilege to benefit from the guidance of our experienced advisors at Positive Luxury: at every turn they have helped us recognise opportunities for improvement, and offered useful suggestions. Hats off to Diana Verde Nieto, Amy Nelson-Bennett and their remarkable team for setting such high standards but also helping people achieve them.

NICOLE ROLET

CO-FOUNDER & PRINCIPAL

Case study

BIODIVERSITY

Most of the Domaine’s 135 hectares are dedicated to preserving biodiversity. Partnering with the ONF (the national forest protection agency), the estate safeguards its intricate complex natural ecosystem, boasting an impressive 1400 species of butterflies.

Embracing the cyclical rhythms of nature, the estate hosts a shepherd and his flock over the winter. The sheep enrich the land with their fertilisation of dormant vines. Olive trees, orchards and lavender are also harvested for seasonal production of fruits, lamb, olive oil, lavender essence, honey and almonds, all served to guests. Food, waste and twigs are recycled as compost in their garden, where medieval vegetables and flowers thrive alongside succulents and frost-tolerant species. Local meadow flowers and poppies enhance the estate’s beekeeping efforts, boosted by a successful SustainaBEElity crowdfunding initiative.

The Michelin-trained chef serves up farm-to-fork delicacies. Guests are welcome to join him in the estate’s own biodynamically farmed gardens and orchards to pick fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. The kitchen and priory accommodations are maintained using eco-certified cleaning products and water conservation practices and a biodigester to reduce food waste. Eco-friendly materials, local stone and wood adorn the estate, and help to minimise the use of toxic products in carpentry work. Wastewater from the cellar is filtered by the dedicated bamboo forest. The estate also encourages more sustainable transportation, providing an electric charging station for cars and e-bikes, and a dedicated bike shelter.

La Verriere Positive Luxury

Case study

DIVERSITY, EQUALITY & INCLUSION

La Verrière’s policy on diversity, equity, and inclusion goes beyond the comprehensive legal requirements in France. Stringent HR procedures address grievances, other social impact areas such as recruitment, employee performance reviews, and training programs at the estate also prioritise inclusivity and transparency. For instance, in 2023 all employees had a DEI workshop on communication, conflict resolution and unconscious bias. La Verrière incorporates DEI considerations in contracts, flexible working hours, and hybrid working locations.

Over the years, employees have been recruited from all major ethnic groups, religions, and genders, with a culture of supportiveness and openness. The great majority of staff remain in friendly contact even after they leave. Outreach to the local community includes an annual visit by primary age school children from the local village of Crestet. They paint pictures of the house and the blue oak tree, which are then displayed around the property. Local artisans were engaged in the renovation of the priory. The estate collaborates with its extended network of local historians, wine tour guides, taxi services, bike hiring services and biking guides, investing back into the local communities.

La Verriere Positive Luxury

Case study

HEALTH & SAFETY

La Verrière’s multifaceted approach to health and safety is premised on clear objectives, policies, risk assessments, and training. Staff responsibilities are documented, while routine inspections allow for addressing any urgencies or upkeep. Regular external and internal training focuses on a wide range of topics such as regulatory requirements, health and safety, first aid, food preparation, waste management, and recycling.

For risk assessments, specific items in all the rooms as well as protocols related to services onsite are defined in line with risk levels and safety indicators. Preventative measures are listed, and frequent checklists are made visible across La Verrière. Emergency procedures and phone numbers are indicated throughout the premises for all the staff and guests. Safety precautions are also identified for children and dogs according to where they should be allowed to go and why. Internal guidelines regarding potential occupational hazards are also posted and regularly reviewed for everyday health matters such as hygiene in the kitchens, and safety issues in guest rooms.

La Verriere Positive Luxury

WHERE NEXT?

The team at La Verrière are looking to go further on monitoring their supply chain logistics. They are eager to adopt the right Science-based metrics to assess their work and set goals for progress. With the help of a protocol set up by Positive Luxury, Marlene and Katja, who have spearheaded the company's efforts, are putting in place new systems, and getting the community involved. Progress has been made, for example by limiting air travel, resulting in significant reduction in the company's carbon footprint.

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