The Sunday Times annual Rich List is undoubtedly one of the most vulgar exercise in journalism, but fascinating for all that. SA wine lovers will be intrigued to read that the proprietor of Delaire-Graff Estate in Banghoek, jeweller Laurence Graff, has a fortune now estimated at £3.3 billion or $5.3 billion, handily eclipsing the $5.1 billion Anglo American will be paying the Oppenheimer family for their 40% stake in De Beers.
Not bad for the son of a tailor whose mom sold fags and newspapers. It took the Oppenheimers three generations to make their pile from diamonds, but as any winemaker will tell you, all the profit in wine (such as there is) is made by retailers, not manufacturers. The same thing applies to diamonds, as the relative fortunes of Laurence Graff and Nicky Oppenheimer confirm.