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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Mont Rochelle: the Winelands’ most romantic spot

The first thing Sir Richard Branson does when he arrives here is play a game of tennis with me …

By James Basson
General Manager for Mont Rochelle by Virgin Limited Edition

Sir Richard Branson enjoys a lovely glass of Chardonnay but my favourite out of our Mont Rochelle wines would have to be the newly released 2020 Sauvignon Blanc. I just think the tropical fruit flavours that are coming through are incredible, especially on a hot summer’s day.

The location of the property is truly spectacular in the foothills of the Dassenberg Mountains. You can see all the vineyards, the neighbouring wine estates, the horse paddocks and a huge plum orchard. Not only do we enjoy incredible sunrises and beautiful sundowner spots, but it feels as though you’re out of the hustle and bustle of Franschhoek town even though it’s only a five-minute drive away. I have the privilege of living on the farm with my two young boys who are six and nine. They love the freedom – being able to walk and run and ride their bikes. The estate’s brilliant for families. While the parents are wine tasting, we do a blind juice tasting for the children which is quite a bit of fun.

When it comes to activities, wow, there’s a lot to offer; a tennis court (the first thing Sir Richard Branson does when he arrives here is play a game of tennis with me), an incredible spa and a stunning pool that’s all about the views as well as our wine tasting area and two restaurants. A lot of special occasions revolve around picnics which not only include cheeses and charcuterie but pork kebabs, which are delicious, pea arancini with honey dip, and lemongrass and tuna fishcakes just to name a few of the treats you might find. Then there’s the malva pudding – a traditional South African dessert we make into truffles. It is quite a feast.

One of the most wonderful experiences we pulled together was a proposal. The guests enjoyed a private tasting with our winemaker and then our farm manager took them for a vineyard tour. The bride-to-be had no idea that at the end of the vineyard there would be the most romantic table set up overlooking Franschhoek Valley. It was spectacular. Just one of those nights where it was a beautiful, beautiful summer’s evening. She said yes of course.


  • Food & Drink
  • Places to stay
  • Romance

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Alfred & James Basson

James Basson has worked in the hospitality industry for almost twenty years. Starting his career as a wide-eyed food runner during school holidays, he catapulted up the ranks during his time at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat where he became General Manager and met his wife, Dee. James now manages the much-lauded Mont Rochelle estate where he enjoys welcoming people from all walks of life.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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