Richard Branson to buy South African vineyard

English entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is to buy Mont Rochelle Hotel & Mountain Vineyard in the South African region of Franschhoek.

As reported by Travel Weekly, the sale will go through via Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition luxury property company with a preliminary agreement having been reached to buy the property for an undisclosed sum.

Set on a 39-hectare private estate dotted with vineyards, Mont Rochelle has 22 bedrooms and charges £546 a night for its Cap Classic Suite.

The hotel, which dates back to 1688, will be shut for refurbishment and is due to reopen in August.

“It is with warmth that Sir Richard Branson is welcomed as the new owner of this gem in the crown of Franschhoek,” Albert Gatare, a relative of the hotel’s current owner, Miko Rwayitare, said.

‘I’m thrilled to be able to announce that we are in the process of purchasing Mont Rochelle and what I’m sure will be a “must visit” winelands experience in South Africa and a fantastic addition to the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio,” Branson said.

The mogul owns a number of luxury retreats around the world including Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, The Lodge in Verbier and Sa Terra Rotja in Majorca.

He also owns the 74-acre Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands and the smaller Mosquito Island off the coast of Virgin Gorda, which he bought for £10m in 2007.

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