Johann Rupert awarded the French Legion of Honour [fr]
Johann Rupert was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour on 20 February. The French Ambassador, His Excellency Denis Pietton, said that: “France honours one of its best ambassadors when it comes to business and the finer things in life.” (Read the Ambassador’s speech).
Mr Rupert, chairman of the luxury goods company Richemont (the second largest luxury group worldwide) is an invaluable ambassador for French luxury products such as Cartier, Chloé and Lancel Paris.
He has been able to preserve the legacy of each of these firms while at the same time enhancing their tradition of style, quality and hand-crafted expertise. His business acumen and appreciation of French style was again evidenced by the Sandton opening of the first Cartier shop in South Africa in 2007.
- Alain-Dominique Perrin of Richemont, French Ambassador Denis Pietton and Marla Pietton, Breyten Breytenbach, Johann Rupert and his wife Gaynor Rupert.
- Photographer: Irchad Razaaly
Another example of his close economic and cultural ties with France is good wine. Since 1997 Rupert & Rothschild Wineries have been in a production partnership with the Rupert family on their Simonsberg wine farm. The homestead was built in 1690 by French Huguenot immigrants and was thereafter inhabited by Huguenot descendants until it is was bought by the Ruperts in 1984. They employed a French oenologist to assist them in their wine production.
Mr Rupert was instrumental in setting up an exchange programme between the region of Bourgogne and the Western Cape in 2002, which has seen young people from Bourgogne complete internships on South Africa wine farms.