Soweto wine fest grows

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The increasingly popular annual Soweto Wine Festival takes place on September 5 to 6 at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus.

The event, which in the past three years has seen an increasing number of festival-goers introduced to some of the best wines in South Africa, is sure to attract more people.

Marylin Cooper, a wine academic and co-founder of the festival, is excited about the increasing number of people that attend this innovative festival.

"Last year the festival was attended by 4000 people and we expect more this year," Cooper says.

At this year's festival, as in previous years, new wine brands will be launched and those who want to learn more about wine will be given daily lectures by Cooper and her team.

This time around the spotlight will also be on a new brand of wine by Lynx Wines and on the Cape Wine Academy in their "Did You Know" campaign, produced to make wine more accessible to the public.

The "Did You Know" campaign consists of 100 interesting facts that will be labelled on every bottle of Lynx Wine and launched at the 2008 Standard Bank Soweto Wine Festival.

The campaign is the brainchild of Lynx Wines owner-winemaker Dieter Sellmeyer and his assistant Suzaan Alheit.

"The campaign is meant to be fun and get people talking about wines, thus breaking down the stigma around wine," Sellmeyer said.

Sellmeyer said their aim was to have 100 "Did you know" facts they dried up at 54 and that's when they approached the Cape Wine Academy managing director Cooper, who is also a highly knowledgeable Cape wine master.

"This is a smart and inventive way to disseminate wonderful data about wine that even the most knowledgeable of wine connoisseurs will be sharing with their friends," said Cooper.

Getting these facts was the easy part, said Sellmeyer.

He had to comply with the tough regulations set by the label committee, whose responsibilities are to consider and scrutinise all labels for use on certified wines and estate brandies.