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February 2017
The 12th edition of the Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival explodes from 3-5 March 2017 in a celebration of wine, culture and food at its new venue, the Soweto Theatre, and it’s all happening under Soweto’s summer skies.
In a move to harness the summer sun, founders of the festival, Marilyn Cooper and Mnikelo Mangciphu, after 11 years, decided to capture the summer sun in March to enhance the warmth and inspiration that only summer wine vibes evoke.

The festival partnership with the Soweto Theatre, allows the festival to flourish in a state-of-the-art multi-purpose complex, the ideal backdrop on which to present the Art of Summer Wine, offering a multi-tiered festival venue, indoors and out, to showcase boutique wineries and designers, a music and conversations’ stage and ample public parking alongside the venue.

South African wine has a long history dating back to 1659. Over the past years, the wine industry has rallied behind the slogan ‘Variety is in our nature’. A complex and diverse natural environment means that there are no stereotypes in South African wine, and the same can be said for its Soweto Wine Festival fans.

The Soweto Wine Festival, proudly and unapologetically African, is designed to bring Cape wines into Johannesburg’s largest suburb, Soweto, known for its unique styles and artists, to revolutionise old wine etiquettes and cultures and make it African in every way. This festival has become the most wonderfully-integrated event in Johannesburg, where the only colours anyone sees are red, white and rosé.

Wine estates and wine brands participating at this year’s festival offer an impressive range of wines to suit all palates.

The festival welcomes family farms from across the Cape, including Blake Family Wines, M’Hudi Wines; Villa Esposto; Boekenhoutskloof’s Chocolate Block, The Wolftrap and Porcupine Ridge wines; Diemersfontein Wines; Doolfhof Wines; Freedom Hill; Hermanuspietersfontein Wines; Pomula Wine Spritzer; Survivor Wines; Peter Falke Wines; Robertson Wines (Natural Sweet) and Fat Bastard; KWV’s Classic Range, Laborie and Roodeberg; and Spier Wines, to name a few.

The 37th edition, Platter's SA Wine Guide 2017 will be available at the festival at a specially reduced price. Since 1980, Platter's has been the ultimate guide to the wines of South Africa, rating and describing over 8,000 wines from over 900 producers. Platter’s Guide to Wine Everything you Wanted to Know About Wine but Were too Afraid to Ask, such as "Will wine make me fat? What wine do I drink with KFC? How do I start a wine collection?" You have questions – Platter’s have answers! Everything Wine is your perfect introduction to the world of wine, written in a relaxed way and packed full of fun. Available at a specially reduced price at the festival.”

A stalwart at the festival is the magnificent M’Hudi vineyards
, which are based on the first wine farm to be owned and managed by a black family in South Africa. It is situated in the scenic Cape Winelands and is wholly owned and managed by the Rangaka family.

Says Malmsey Rangaka, owner of “M’Hudi Winery
, “M’Hudi Wines have been participating in the Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival from around 2007 when it was only 2 years old, and when most Black people in Soweto and Gauteng knew very little about wine. I have always marvelled at the way the festival became a “must-go-to” event that educated people on wine tasting from the level of asking for a full glass of wine because they have paid, to very sophisticated wine appreciators who come dressed to kill and ask for “just a little drop” nine years later.”

The festival’s Cause and Effect Taste Theatre proves the saying ‘wine is not just an object of pleasure but an object of knowledge, and the pleasure depends on the knowledge.’ The Cause and Effect Taste Theatre classes will take place three times per evening for 45 minutes each and is free to the public.

These wine and food pairing classes are fun-educational and a regular feature at the festival, inviting curious and newbie wine enthusiasts to experience the different effects of the five taste sensations when paired with Dry White, Red, Rose and Sweet Wines.

The education theatre is presented by the vibrant and affable former Cape Wine Academy Couse Co-ordinator, Busi Yende, and curated by Cape Wine Master and festival co-founder, Marilyn Cooper.

A feature of the festival is the range of destinations featured inviting visitors to explore South Africa. This year the festival welcome’s South Coast Tourism and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and Gauteng Tourism will present the #GPLifestyle Zone, featuring makers, designers and entrepreneurs from across the province, with twelve food and artisan experiences to keep visitors satiated.

Festival Media Partners this year bring big international flavour to the festival. They are the huge, unapologetically-Black, AFROPUNK (USA), described by the New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US, with national giants, DStv, and the Mail & Guardian.

New to this festival is live musical experiences, bringing additional flavour to the festival experience. Limited-edition Step-Up Tickets are available to the public online through Webtickets, from select Pick n Pay outlets, and from Soweto Theatre prior to the festival, and at the door on the night.

Step-Up tickets enable visitors to pay a little extra to enjoy a range of live music performances inside the theatre during the festival.
On Friday night, the Soweto Theatre presents a sterling local line-up kicking off with Urban Village Music on the main stage.

On Saturday night, the one and only Nonku Phiri will be bringing it LIVE to the festival. Needing no introduction, Nonku has revealed a supreme talent to express and perform several genres spanning house, electronica, hip hop and kwaito.

Urban Village and Nonku Phiri are joined by approximately 25 other artists and DJ’s over the weekend.

Says Mnikelo Mangciphu, co-founder of the festival and owner/manager of Soweto’s Morara Wine & Spirits Emporium
, “Music, wine and food are indelibly linked, especially in South Africa, but nobody does it quite like Soweto, the epicentre of style, sound colour. Every year, Joburg’s fabulous set gather to make their pilgrimage to the festival to express their love for the nectar of the vine and have the most fun, learning, exploring, discussing and laughing. It really is the most special occasion.”

The Honourable Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom
had this to say following his visit to last festival, “This festival epitomises innovation and transcends stereotypes. It’s about great South African food, wine and travel, brought alive in Soweto. This festival has become a must-do event on the tourism calendar in Johannesburg.”

The Cape’s best boutique wines; network with travel retailers who offer a huge choice of holidays and weekends away; a wide selection of foods to suit all tastes from top-shelf restaurants, local bistros and trendy food trucks; music and live performances from Soweto’s famous set and beyond; magnificent wine and chocolate activations from Cadbury’s Glow; Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife activations and holidays; Ugu South Coast Tourism activation and holidays; Standard Bank’s VIP activation; DStv outdoor Shisa Nyama picnic experience, and more!
IN 2017?

The 2017 festival times are:

Friday, 3rd March - 6 pm to 10 pm
Saturday, 4th March - 5 pm to 10 pm
Sunday, 5th March - 12 pm to 6 pm


Soweto Theatre - cnr. Bolani Link and Bolani Rd, Jabulani, Soweto

Online and at the door - normal tickets
Friday R150
Saturday R180
Sunday R150

Step Up Tickets at the door and from Soweto Theatre ticket office prior to the event:
Friday R180 - Watch Urban Village live
Saturday R280 - Watch Nonku Phiri live
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Issued by Hot Salsa Media on behalf of the Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival
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