1997 is the year Rupert & Rothschild arose — from a shared passion for wine, a shared pursuit of excellence. But our tale stretches much further back — centuries, even — to the birth of two families, aligned in their vision.
The Rothschild family’s winemaking history is rooted in France, where James de Rothschild purchased the premier Bordeaux estate Château Lafite in 1868. He began a love affair with the vine that was to be continued over 100 years later by his great-grandson, Baron Edmond de Rothschild.
Motivated by a dream to shape some of the finest wines the world over, Baron Edmond de Rothschild established several wineries in Europe, and later, in numerous far-flung corners of the globe – a treasured collection that together form Edmond de Rothschild Heritage.
“The more I know wine, the more it loves me.” “The more I know wine the more it loves me. — Baron Edmond de Rothschild — Baron Edmond
Driven by determination and an unwavering optimism, the late Dr Anton Rupert always had entrepreneurship in his blood. Aside from a flair for building businesses from nothing, he and his wife, Huberte, held a reverence for art, for people, for the natural world, and for the promise of South African wine.
He and his family have committed much energy, and many years, to cultivating Franschhoek estates that bottle excellence, pleasure and prestige for the world.
In time, these
two families would come
together, marrying two
heritages, two cultures,
two countries, two
Well established in the Old World, Baron Edmond de Rothschild was eager to take his passion and expertise across the waters – to nurture wines of great pedigree in the lands of the New World. His meeting with Dr Rupert was the ideal foundation for a joint venture on the sun-kissed soils of South Africa.
In May 1997, the founders formalised their partnership. They found the perfect site: a quiet Franschhoek farm at the foot of the Simonsberg mountain. And they committed to a simple and elegant approach. A decidedly French approach. To create three carefully crafted wines – two Bordeaux blends and one Chardonnay – that would express the full potential of the local vines.
These were to be iconic wines that set their own standards – rare, special, unique wines. Wines that taste of progress and prosperity, family and friendship. Wines made not for profit or pride, but purely for the love of the craft, and the pleasure of the final product.
In time, the two great men handed over their creation to their sons, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild and Anthonij Rupert, who dedicated themselves to keeping their fathers’ dreams alive, while making them their own. Following the passing of Anthonij in 2001, his older brother Johann Rupert and sister Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg assumed his position.
Slowly, gently, the estate unfurled under the leadership of the next generation. With our wines gaining recognition far and wide, the time came to give our brand a real home, a grounded sense of place. The next chapter saw us open a tasting room and restaurant to offer all a truly exceptional, deeply personal, food and wine experience.
These days, our Franschhoek estate continues to celebrate elegance and excellence, while moving to its own serene, steady rhythm. It is a place that honours time and space, stillness and sunlight. A place that welcomes the world, invites you in, to savour moments, unhurried, unscripted. To taste, see, feel, breathe the heritage of yesterday and the possibilities of tomorrow. To become part of our family. Part of our story. And make it your own.