Founded in 1940, the most recent owner prior to Sir Richard Branson was Erwin Schnitzler, a German hotelier and Miko Rwayitare, who took possession of the hotel and winery which at the time was called ‘La Couronne’. severely damaged by a fire in February 2006. After a period of repair and renovation, Messieurs Rwayitare and Schnitzler created ‘Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards’. Mr Miko Rwayitare was the first black owner of a vineyard in South Africa and the vineyard’s premium wine was named after him – as well as the current main restaurant.
Mont Rochelle was purchased by Sir Richard Branson in 2014 and joined the exclusive Virgin Limited Edition collection which includes Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, Kasbah Tamadot in Morcocco, Mahali Mzuri in Kenya, The Lodge in Verbier, Son Bunyola in Mallorca and Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa.