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May 31, 2011

Gugulethu Wine Festival 2011 brings vibrant people together

gugulethu wine festival

Hebert Banhire of the Cape Wine Academy. Photos by Deon Gurling

When diverse, vibrant people and good wine come together, you know you’re in for a good time. Never was this more apparent than at the inaugural Gugulethu Wine Festival, on the rooftop of the Gugulethu Square Mall, on May 27 and 28, 2011.

From the pumping beats supplied by soulful Heart 104.9FM to the red carpet entrance and plenty of premier wine stands to quench everyone’s thirst, the Gugs fest organisers pulled out all of the stops to ensure their guests had a good time.

Thirty-seven exhibitors were eager to teach more than 2 000 festival goers how to savour their wines and pair them with the right dishes, and novices and wine connoisseurs participated in the tastings together.

There was a wide choice of wine to sample from the sweet Rosé being served at the 4 Street stand by four very handsome barmen to Zonnebloem’s heavy but not overwhelming Pinotage – the festival was a sensational journey for the taste buds.

Co-founder of the festival, Mzoli Ngcawuzele’s wines were on offer too and it must be said that his Merlot is out of this world! It’s easy on the palate and sure to become one of my favourites.

The Nederberg team made quite an impression with their glass box stand and their unusually named Ingenuity Red wine, a delicious blend that tastes like ripe cherries.

After meandering around and tasting quite a few of the delectable wines (Naughty Girl’s sparkling Rosé was a huge crowd pleaser with a high visitor return rate), I headed for festival sponsor, SPAR’s TOPS stand to test their exclusive Olive Brook range of wines which focus on affordability but also quality, and have succeeded in scooping several Veritas awards.

In additional to all the wine tasting, festival goers could also head to the Melbourne Entertainment Tent which featured a live band, a stocked fridge and plenty of seats to rest weary feet, while a food tent, housing a Spur and a SPAR stand, catered for the hungry.

The vibe was fantastic, people of all backgrounds were enjoying themselves together and the wines were excellent. Ngcawuzele and festival co-founder Lungile Mbalo certainly accomplished what they set out to achieve: bringing viticulture to the vibrant Gugulethu community and educating people about the art of wine drinking. Well done to them and the amazing team of organisers. I look forward to next year’s festival

Below are some more photos from the event, taken by Deon Gurling.

gugulethu wine festival 2011

Clive Shonfeld pours Premier Helen Zille a glass

gugulethu wine festival 2011

Lholho Nduku and Ndumiso Sishuba

gugulethu wine festival 2011

Suga of Heart FM

See more photos from the event.

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