Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition collection of luxury properties plans to add a hotel in the South African wine lands.

A preliminary agreement has been reached to purchase the Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard for an undisclosed sum.

The 22-room hotel in Franschhoek will be shut for refurbishment and is due to re-open in August.

The property, with 39 hectares of vineyard, dates back to 1688 and has been in the hands of the late South African entrepreneur Miko Rwayitare since 2001.

Albert Gatare, a family member of Rwayitare, said: “We are proud to confirm the imminent sale of Mont Rochelle hotel and Mountain Vineyard.

It is with warmth that Sir Richard Branson is welcomed as the new owner of this gem in the crown of Franschhoek.

“With both his and Virgin Limited Edition’s ambitious plans for the future of Mont Rochelle, the family of the late Miko Rwayitare is certain that Miko’s vision of creating a small slice of heaven on earth will be realised.”

Sir Richard 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.”