Indian businessman Analjit Singh has made a substantial investment in Franschhoek, buying three wine farms and a guest house. Last year Mr Singh bought a share in Mullineux Wines, now called Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.
In Franschhoek Mr Singh has bought the wine estates Von Ortloff, Dieu Donné, and the neighbouring Dassenberg, which will be consolidated into Leeu Dassenberg Estates. Fynbos is to be planted and alien vegetation to be removed. This will become the foundation for a new luxury boutique hotel, a spa, a winery, and a wine tasting facility, which will be run under the guidance of General Manager Matthew Smith.
Mr Singh has also bought the Rusthof guest house on the top of main road in Franschhoek, which will change its name to Leeu Rusthof Country Inn when it re-opens in summer, after refurbishments commence in July.
Mr Singh’s hospitality and property interests and new developments will be looked after for him by Hector de Galard. Mr Singh founded The Max India Group, which has interests in life insurance, health insurance, and health care. His local business investments have been made in his personal capacity, and he is using the ‘Leeu’ name, given that his surname means ‘lion’ in Sanskrit. He first came to our country during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and investigated investments at that time already. This led to his purchase of shares in the award-winning Mullineux Family Wines, based in Riebeek Kasteel. Highly regarded viticulturist Rosa Kruger is working with the Leeu wine investments.
Mr Singh spoke about the beauty of Franschhoek, the focus of his local investments: ‘South Africa is a beautiful country with the friendliest people, who have made me feel truly welcome. It has an unparalleled sense of peace! I love the people, the style, the gentle manner and a lot about being here. I am excited about the great opportunities that have become available to me and look forward to learning and making a contribution, in particular to the country’s top notch wine industry‘.
The purchase by Mr Singh of three wine farms to create a boutique wine and accommodation centre, and the recently announced purchase of the Mont Rochelle hotel by Sir Richard Branson, will put Franschhoek on the international map, with two top quality properties being added to the already good quality hospitality offerings in the village.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage