Cape winemakers travel to the Soweto Wine Festival to showcase their wines.
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  There is a wide choice of food to enjoy at the festival, so plan for an evening of great tastes!
  Celebrating all things made in SA, lifestyle at the festival is bigger and bolder than ever before.
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Owners | History

About the Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival

It Starts with a Conversation

The idea of having a wine festival in Soweto was born 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.

It was also the right time to start introducing South Africa’s quality wines to the remaining 80% of our population. Wine should be a way of life for all South Africans. Eleven years later, the Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival is the pride of Soweto and a must-attend event on the annual South African wine calendar.

Soweto Wine Festival Owners

Mnikelo Mangciphu and Marilyn Cooper
  Co-founding member of the Soweto Wine Festival is Mnikelo Mangciphu who is the owner/manager of the only wine shop in Soweto: Morara Wine & Spirit Emporium, which he launched after the first Soweto Wine Festival in 2005.

The other co-founding member of the festival is Marilyn Cooper, who is a Cape Wine Master, and is also former CEO of the Cape Wine Academy.

Mnikelo Mangciphu says that this festival is dedicated to encouraging, educating and growing black wine drinkers in Mzansi.

Soweto Wine Festival History

Timelines of Success

The inaugural festival was held over three days at Ubuntu Kraal in Orlando West, was attended by 1500 members of the public and was officially opened by the then Minister of Agriculture Thoka Didiza. 82 wineries came to that first festival, filled with great excitement; many had never been into a township before.

2006 soweto wine festival 2006:
The festival moved to the present premises University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus, which proved to be a far more suitable and more accessible venue, with larger, safe parking. Over 3000 people attended the Soweto Wine and Brandy Festival, and all had a great time.

2007 2007:
The festival showcased 94 different wineries with over 800 labels to entice the 4225 visitors that came through our doors. It was also the first year we invited big brand sponsors to participate in the festival.

2008 soweto wine festival 2008:
The festival grew to 105 exhibitors with over 850 wines to taste and 4365 visitors to taste them. The hall was packed to the seams, to the point we had to stop selling tickets early. This year we included an ‘edutainment’ element to the festival called the Pick n Pay Wine Class.

2009 soweto wine festival 2009:
The festival featured 103 wineries exhibiting over 800 wines and 5520 visitors attending. 2009 was so packed that doors closed 2 hours after opening. We have learnt our lesson - Sowetans LOVE South African Wine!

2010 soweto wine festival 2010:
In the year that South Africa hosted the Soccer World Cup, the Soweto Wine Festival welcomed a sell-out audience of over 7,500 visitors to the 3-night event. Despite increasing capacity with the addition of a Platinum Wine Arena, organisers closed doors early on Friday and Saturday nights.

2011 soweto wine festival 2011:
The 2011 TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine Festival attracted a record 8550 people over the 3 evenings - which is 1002 more people than the previous year! This popular festival just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
2012 soweto wine festival 2012:
The festival featured over 900 wines and attracted an outstanding 8413 people over the 3 evenings. Despite heavy rains on the Thursday afternoon, the TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine Festival attracted 1550 visitors on the Thursday evening, and was full to capacity on Friday and Saturday.
2013 soweto wine festival 2013:
The 2013 Soweto Wine Festival attracted 8813 people over the 3 evenings - the best festival to date with a new venue layout and additional lifestyle elements to close the gap between wine and lifestyle - an amazing festival experience for all.
2014 soweto wine festival 2014:
The 10th TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival, presented by Joburg Tourism, which happened from 4-6 September 2014, was not only a celebration of Soweto's stylin' soul and South Africa's finest wines, it also had an abundance of class. Read more
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