WELCOME TO DELAIRE GRAFF ESTATE
Delaire Graff Estate has achieved what owner and globally renowned visionary Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International, had in mind when he acquired this magnificent Cape Winelands property in 2003 and vowed to transform it into South Africa’s most desirable art, hospitality and wine destination. Today, with two outstanding restaurants, a state-of-the-art winery, exclusive Lodges, a destination Spa and two luxury boutiques, the transformation of this piece of paradise, nestled between majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch, one of the world’s leading wine destinations, is now complete. Striking Cape Dutch architecture meets African artefacts and styling, with original artworks from Laurence Graff’s personal collection on display throughout, representing some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists.
Laurence Graff, the owner and visionary behind the Delaire Graff Estate, was born and raised in London. He is the founder and chairman of Graff Diamonds International Ltd, a company he started nearly 50 years ago and which is one of the leading diamond jewellery companies in the world. From opening the first Graff boutique in New Bond Street in 1993, Graff now has 34 stores globally including stores in the United States, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China and Japan.
Laurence Graff controls The South African Diamond Corporation which has offices in Johannesburg, Botswana, Belgium, Mauritius and New York; the company cuts and polishes tens of thousands of diamonds every year whilst the production and creation of Graff jewellery is handled by the highest skilled craftsmen and the company headquarters in London’s Mayfair.
Over the years Laurence Graff has handled the most fabulous and treasured gemstones and diamonds in the world including The Idol’s Eye, The Emperor Maximillian, The Porter Rhodes, The Windsor Diamonds, The Hope of Africa, The Begum Blue, The Paragon, The Star of America, The Golden Star, The Lesotho Promise and the Wittelsbach-Graff. Graff’s remarkable story can be read fully in ‘The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World’ a stunning coffee table book, the proceeds of which go to The Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund and available to buy at Delaire Graff Estate and online…
A world leader within the diamond industry, Laurence Graff is equally devoted to philanthropic and humanitarian causes. Apart from supporting an array of charities such as Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, ARK, Elton John’s aids Foundation, to name a few. Laurence Graff established FACET (For Africa’s Children Every Time), a charity devoted to raising money for the education, health and welfare of children in the countries of Africa from where he gets many of his stones. (www.facet-foundation.org)
Executive Chef – Christiaan Campbell
Christiaan is renowned throughout South Africa for his creativity and dedication in his culinary pursuits. Aged 20 he was made Executive Chef of The Cellars Country House in Constantia, Cape Town and then over a period of three years he spent long amounts of time in England with such icons as The Roux Brothers of La Gavroche and Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
Being a well respected and loved chef in South Africa, Christiaan has been recognised for bringing about good working relations amongst his kitchen staff and restaurant teams, pulling both of these together to create a team which works to deliver the best of his ‘Sunshine Cuisine’ to his guests, using only the best ingredients available.
Winemaker – Morne Vrey
Morne believes that the Delaire Graff Estate, with one of the most advanced cellars in the southern hemisphere, makes some of the best wines in South Africa. The winery equipped with every appliance imaginable will transform the hard work in the vineyards into world-class wines.
After completing his studies, Morne started his career as assistant wine maker at Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch for 5 years before going to Europe in 2002. His travels have included harvests in France and Germany, whilst retail experience in the UK enabled to build trade relationships and create an ‘international palate’. Before returning to South Africa, Morne spent a harvest in New Zealand to gain further experience in the ‘new style’ wine making, then in 2009 Delaire Graff Estate appointed him as winemaker.
Landscape Artist – Keith Kirsten
The estate’s immense and magnificent grounds have been designed and re-landscaped by Keith Kirsten, a multi-gold medalist at the Stuttgart IGA show and the Chelsea Flower Show, as well as winning numerous other local and international awards. Kirsten is often called “South Africa’s favourite gardener” and definitely its “Number one celebrity horticulturalist”.
A founder director and patron of Food and Trees for Africa, Kirsten’s support of industry initiatives is unconditional. He plays crucial roles in several South African national initiatives for biodiversity and botanics. Together with Nelson Mandela, Kirsten is a patron of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and is actively involved in the “Working for Water” program in South Africa.
Estate Architect – Derick Henstra
dhk Architects, the 25 year old firm behind the main winery and dining building on the Estate, is an established architectural practice with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Seychelles and their reputation for innovative design has grown into award winning and international recognition.
The company is active across the full spectrum of architecture, from the creation of new buildings, refurbishment and restoration of existing structures to urban and interior design projects including hotels and leisure complexes, residential developments, public and institutional buildings. dhk interpret the client’s requirements with the appropriate architectural responses, incorporating international design influences, sustainability and the interdependence between architecture and the urban design framework in which it exists.
Hotel & Spa Architect – Pierre Bories
Pierre Bories, the architect behind the Hotel and Spa at Delaire, launched his career in Johannesburg, South Africa. By 1971, he had moved to Paris-based Property Developers, Richard Ellis SA. From 1976 to 1986, Pierre was based in Kuwait, as an Associate of AART International, another firm of Paris-based Architects. Since 1987 he has been Managing Director of Palm Architects, based in the South of France.
As co-founder of Palm Architects, Pierre gives the company a broad and multi-cultural approach to architecture. He has enriched its portfolio with a large number of high profile projects, from luxury villas on the French Riviera to hotels, office buildings and hospitals both in France and abroad.