Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa (PressExposure) May 05, 2011 -- The TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival happening on the 27 and 28 May 2011 on the rooftop of Gugulethu Mall is gearing up to be a great success with major new sponsors on board and local wineries booking their spaces.
Lungile Mbalo, spokesperson and co-founder of the Gugulethu Wine Festival, says, "We have had a great response from big brands who realise that this festival is set to be a major wine festival in Cape Town. It is important to understand that the black middle class audience in Cape Town is largely untapped in the local wine industry. We are about to change this. Imagine the business this large, new wine-loving market can add to local wineries and businesses, and we are all in it for the long term."
This first-ever Gugulethu Wine Festival is attracting big brand sponsors such as TOPS at Spar as the headline sponsor for the next three years, leading network provider Vodacom as a corporate sponsor, Nederburg as a wine lounge sponsor and City Press as the print media partner.
Ray Edwards, Group Liquor Manager at TOPS at SPAR SA says, "We believe that the residents of Gugulethu and surrounding residential areas are now drinking good wines and this poses an opportunity to introduce the Tops brand as the preferred wine supplier. We will also showcase our own premium wines at the festival as we are a premium wine marketer in the area."
Edwards says that this festival is vital to open up new markets and opportunities. The new market is in the large black middle class community in Cape Town and surrounding areas that would love to learn more about South Africa's quality wines and their origins but haven't really had an personal invitation to this unique and fairly intimidating industry. On the flip side of this, it is also an opportunity for the wine producing fraternity who would like to trade to this market but don't really know how, and by getting involved as headline sponsor, we will pave the way for Gugulethu consumers to taste the top class wines this country produces. Edwards concludes, "Believe me there are some gems out there just waiting to be tasted."
TOPS at SPAR also have three exclusive labels and will be showcasing them at the festival. There are 487 TOPS at SPAR stores open across South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The wine lounge sponsor Nederburg, established in 1791, is South Africa's leading name in wine. Nederburg winemaker, Tariro Masayiti, will be hosting the Nederburg Wine and Food Theatre experience at the festival, which will be free, great fun and educational for all wine drinkers who want to learn about wine and food pairing, of which there will be many. Four sessions will be hosted per night throughout the festival.
Says Masayiti: "We are really excited to be a part of this event. It's a great opportunity to meet some of the people who enjoy our wines and get to know them personally. We see this as the start of a relationship with more Capetonians who live so close to the winelands. Too many people are put off by what they imagine are the do's and dont's involved in wine consumption. We want to show that the only rule is to drink responsibly. The rest is up to your personal preference. However, we can help to increase your enjoyment of wine by highlighting which food and flavours are more compatible than others."
Marilyn Cooper, Cape Wine Master, co-founder of the Soweto Wine Festival and CEO of the Cape Wine Academy, who are managing the wine estate exhibitors for the event, says, "This is an important festival for all wineries to attend. This market has the potential to quadruple over the next 3 to 5 years. It is an opportunity for wineries to develop one-on-one relationships with an influential audience as seen with the unprecedented growth in attendance at the Soweto Wine Festival."
Festival co-founder, Mzoli Ngcawuzele, prominent businessman and owner of Mzoli's Place, says, "Our vision is taking shape, which is to create local wine awareness amongst the broader population in the Western Cape and provide a highly favourable networking environment for wineries and sponsors that wish to position their brands in the local black community."
Ngcawuzele continues, "It is time we all put our passions into action in Gugulethu and surrounding areas. It is a well-populated township with many beautiful, artistic and passionate people and families who appreciate quality and lifestyle. Great wines will be a part of this. We look forward to experiencing well-known and empowerment wines in our own community. We will support them. To be a part of this festival is be a part of history and it will feed growth into local wineries and businesses. Come and enjoy this with us."
Highly-regarded national Sunday newspaper, City Press, is the print media partner to the TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival. Babalwa Shota, City Press Lifestyle Editor says, "Having conquered Soweto, City Press is bringing the winelands experience to our Capetonian readers in Gugulethu. We are excited to bring the best wine producers to their discerning customers and to invite the uninitiated to experience the culture that accompanies the enjoyment of the fruit of the vine. Tops Gugulethu Wine Festival makes its debut this year, don't miss the chance to meet us, swirl and savour the flavour of a different world."
It is estimated that over 2000 people will visit the Gugulethu Wine Festival over the 2 days. The rooftop of the Gugulethu Mall will transform into a vibrant space that will house the VIP, corporate, and wine exhibitor marquees. Food will be cooked by Mzoli and his chefs. There will be a cigar/smoking lounge, a media interview space, live music, celebrities and visitors in abundance - not forgetting the Nederburg Wine and Food Pairing Theatre for those that want to learn the art of wine and food combinations.