|Says Marilyn Cooper, Cape Wine Master, CEO of the Cape Wine Academy and organiser of the wine exhibitors at the festival - “Even though TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival is competing against a large wine event in Gauteng over the same weekend it has nearly trebled the number of wineries exhibiting this year. This is fantastic growth from a somewhat conservative industry and fantastic growth for Gugulethu. The wine industry is moving with the times as our township festivals are growing in popularity in both winery attendance and visitors alike. This is because we are changing the way in which wine is perceived and enjoyed by creating a unique brand of wine festivals that are vibrant, encouraging, edutaining, diverse, uplifting, relevant, motivating and most of all, fun.”
Heart 104.9FM Radio personality and MC, DJ Suga is MC’ing Friday evening in the main wine marquee and comments, “I am backing the TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival because it’s a wonderful way for people to come together and experience wine appreciation, amazing food and a great festive atmosphere! It’s an honour to be a part of it! I will be giving away lots of amazing prizes such as the latest and hottest new fashion item, wood-framed sunglasses by Hout Couture thanks to Place in the Sun, and so much more.”
Heart 104.9FM DJ Diggy Bongz and Irma G will be MC’ing on Saturday evening in the main wine marquee to delight the crowds.
New this year is the TOPS Food and Chill Out Zone offering coffee from Bay Harbour Market’s Z.A. Café, fresh oysters from The Oyster Lady, shisa nyama from Mzoli’s Place and delicious pizza from Afro Pizza.
Says festival co-founder, owner of Mzoli’s Place and business entrepreneur, Mzoli Ngcawuzele, “Our headline sponsor, TOPS at Spar, have really stepped up the pace this year and have provided, amongst many other wonderful opportunities, a wonderful TOPS Food Zone for people to enjoy food with these wonderful wines of ours and putting real meaning to celebrating unity and diversity of Africa Day. It’s going to be de-vine in Gugulethu!”
TOPS at Spar’s VIP performer on Friday evening is Idols judge, Metro FM co-host and entertainment powerhouse, Unathi Msengana and her 9 piece band. Says Unathi “I'm so excited to be spending Africa Day in the Mother City in the Mother of all townships celebrating two of South Africa's most precious gifts, music and wine. I will also be wine tasting in the main wine marquee in-between sets and can’t wait to meet the winemakers and visitors that make this festival so unique and special.”
A final word of warning from Lungile Mbalo, co-founder and spokesperson for the festival, “If you are able, please buy your tickets prior to the event as this will avoid disappointment as I predict we will fill to capacity very quickly on both nights and will be forced to close doors, much the same as happened last year. Tickets are available online at webtickets.co.za and also at Cape Town Tourism centres. I also predict rain so bring umbrellas.”
Other exciting highlights at the festival:
· The Nederburg Taste Theatre is open to all festival visitors on a first-come first-served basis. Presentations will be staged on Friday at 17h30, 18h30, 19h30 and on Saturday at 16h30, 18h00, 19h30 in the main wine exhibitor marquee.
· Pete Goffe-Wood, a South African MasterChef judge, will co-present Nederburg’s Taste Theatre on Friday evening.
· Idols judge, Metro FM co-host and entertainment powerhouse, Unathi Msengana, will be performing live in the TOPS VIP Lounge to invited VIP guests on the Friday evening.
· Over 40 wineries showcasing over 300 wines to swirl, sniff, sip, and spit (although not much spitting is expected)
· Thirteen super-brand sponsors including spectacular wine lounges from Pongracz, J.C le Roux, Nederburg, 4th Street, The Saints and a DGB merlot wine bar giving visitors unique lifestyle experiences. These wineries will also be giving away major prizes every night.
· Enjoy the ‘TOPS Food & Fun’ chill-out space to sit and eat from a choice of restaurants including Mzoli’s famous chop!
· All visitors will receive a free branded wine tasting glass and the festival wine buying guide on arrival plus there will be lots of prizes to be won on the night.
TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival 2012 details
Friday 25 May – 16h00 to 21h00
Saturday 26 May – 15h00 to 21h00
Tickets are R80 per person per night. Purchase online at www.webtickets.co.za or at the door on the night or at select CT Tourism centres.
For more information visit www.gugulethuwinefestival.co.za.