|Get set to join Mzansi's thousands of trendsetters, movers and shakers, wine, food and music lovers, the aspirational and inspirational, connoisseurs and newbies and all those who just want to have a fun night out, meet people and taste over 900 of South Africa's fabulous wines at the 8th annual TOPS Soweto Wine Festival, in association with Food Network, happening from Thursday to Saturday 6th to 8th September at the University of Johannesburg in Soweto.
Mnikelo Mangciphu, co-founder of the TOPS Soweto Wine Festival, in association with Food Network, and owner of Soweto's Morara Wine and Spirit Emporium says, "It's bigger, it's better, it's Black and it's beautiful. There will be no other festival like the 2012 TOPS Soweto Wine Festival! This year our focus is on providing a gorgeous, safe place for our valuable visitors to have fun, learn about wine, dine with friends in our TOPS Food marquee, and dance to live music and much more, not forgetting the over R 100 000 worth of prizes to be won. There are a couple new additions in the pipeline that are very exciting and will add great value to all who attend the festival."
Headline sponsor TOPS at SPAR is the 'all hands on deck' as they bring big brand strength to the festival and its organisers in producing the best festival to date.
Says Mark Robinson, TOPS Group Liquor Manager, "The TOPS Soweto Wine Festival is synonymous to the values of TOPS at SPAR. You can expect a spirit of celebration and we want you to have fun and enjoy life – and that's why, from the moment you walk into the festival, you'll be captivated by the TOPS Soweto Wine Festival experience. With over 900 wines to taste you will be spoilt for choice."
One exciting new addition to the festival is the associate sponsor, DStv channel, Food Network. The Food Network brand is renowned for its fresh approach to food programming and celebrates everything that is bold, fun and entertaining about the genre and is not your typical ‘how to’ cooking channel.
Associate sponsor, Food Network’s senior vice president of content and marketing U.K. and EMEA, Nick Thorogood says: "We're excited to be on-board as Associate Sponsor of the festival this year. South African wine and food is tantalising, diverse and full of flavour, and we're pleased to be helping educate people within the Soweto region by showcasing the best of the best that the country has to offer."
Nederburg is bringing two talented members of its award-winning winemaking team to Gauteng for the TOPS Soweto Wine Festival in association with Food Network. They are internationally trained Wim Truter, who makes the white wines, and Wellington Metshane, who is a senior member of the team making the reds. Both work under the direction of cellar master Razvan Macici.
They will present some of the exciting new developments that have been taking place at the famous Paarl winery, and also Nederburg's entertaining and interactive Taste Theatre experience that explores the impact of various food flavours on wine.
Nederburg spokesperson Wencke Grobler says: "Whereas in the past we had one presenter, we have decided to bring two, so guests have more chance to interact with us, either at the theatre itself or at our stand."
The Nederburg Wine and Food Taste Theatre Experience, which is free to visitors, is a taste adventure and will highlight the impact on wine and food pairing, made by the five basic flavours – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (a Japanese term to describe a flavour that is intensely savoury).
Comments Grobler, "We want to show how something that seems as insignificant as a squeeze of lemon or a little extra salt added to your food can make a substantial difference to the way you experience an accompanying wine."
Marilyn Cooper, co-founder of TOPS Soweto Wine Festival, in association with Food Network, a Cape Wine Master and CEO of the Cape Wine Academy, says "Now in our 8th year we are a tried and trusted wine festival worthy of the many fine wine exhibitors and big brands that we attract, so much so we are 90% to capacity. I would love to see more wineries dip their toes into this responsive market. It is unbelievably important and will contribute to sustainable sales now and most definitely in the future. Primarily due to educating this middle market, wine sales and consumption has increased for the first time after years in decline, and it all starts here."
Dates: Thursday, 6th September to Saturday, 8th September 2012
Times: Thursday and Friday from 18h00 to 22h00 and Saturday from 17h00 to 21h00
Venue: University of Johannesburg, Main Hall, Soweto Campus, Chris Hani Road, Soweto
Tickets: R 120 per person
Ticket Availability: At the festival, online from www.webtickets.co.za or at Morara Wine Emporium in Soweto
For more information please visit www.sowetowinefestival.co.za.