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Soweto Wine Festival

Each year the people of Mzansi (slang for The South, as in South Africa) brace themselves in anticipation for the years biggest wine festival, the annual TOPS Soweto Wine Festival. Get set to join the countries 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 Africas fabulous wines.

A Wine festival in Soweto? The idea of the festival in Soweto was borne around a braai in Pretoria in 2004 between neighbours Lyn Woodward (an original member) and Mnikelo Mangciphu (co-founding active member). The two were drinking wine out of Soweto Beer Festival glasses, and several glasses later, thought what a good idea it would be to have a wine festival in Soweto. Well it was also the right time to start introducing South Africas quality wines to the remaining 80% of our population. Wine should be a way of life for all South Africans. Eight years later, the Soweto Wine Festival is the pride of Soweto and the wine event not to miss on the annual South African wine calendar.

What does your entrance fee get you, well for R120 you get a free wine tasting glass and a festival buyers guide, which lists every winery and their wines along with space for you to make notes as you taste so you know what wines to buy in the future!

Organisers advise visitors to spend some time going through their exhibitors page on their website at www.sowetowinefestival.co.za before visiting the festival and planning the wines that they are going to taste. The wine exhibitors page has a comprehensive list of what wineries will be showcasing their wines at the event. But don't be in a rush, plan your festival experience over three days with a 3-day festival pass and start a journey of tastes that will lead you to your favourite South African Wine. Also make time to visit the Nederburg Taste Theatre and take a free wine and food pairing class, or visit the Cape Wine Academy stand and learn how to kick-start a career in wine, or start a wine club with your friends.

But there is more than just wines, you can plan your holidays by visiting some of the travel exhibitors showcasing their exciting resorts, or take time out from tasting to enjoy a cup of coffee in the Sasol Delight Coffee House or at one of the great restaurants selling food at the festival..

Thats a lot of wine to taste, and after youve tasted your way through the 950 wines, stop off at the Wine Shop and buy your favourite wine at a great price directly at the festival!

Event organisers also ask you to remember to drink responsibly! The festival has a number of spittoons at every station to ensure your experience is a safe and enjoyable one, but if you dont spit - take advantage of one of the safe driving options available to you at the festival!

The Dates and Times for the 2012 festival are as follows:
Thursday 6th September 2012 from 18:00 to 22:00
Friday 7th September 2012 From 18:00 to 22:00
Saturday 8th September 2012 from 17:00 to 21:00

The festival offers VIP and standard parking behind the University of Johannesburg. Be sure to follow the clearly marked signs off Chris Hani Road when travelling to the festival.

Directions to the Soweto Wine Festival (travelling by road):

From JHB or Sandton take the M1 South following the signs to Bloemfontein (where the road splits to Durban / Bloemfontein N1 / Roodepoort M2)
Travel for about 6 km past Booysens Drive, Gold Reef City and Xavier Road
You will see a large blue overhead highway sign before the lanes split into different directions.
Keep left and follow the M68 towards Soweto
Look for signs for the Chris Hani Road turn-off, about 3 km after taking they M68 split.
Take Chris Hani Road exit.
At the traffic lights turn right.
Continue for about 5 km until you see the signs leading up to UJ, which will be on your left-hand side and will direct you to public and VIP parking.

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