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SOWETO, GAUTENG, 26 AUGUST 2014 – Eleven of South Africa’s pioneering Empowerment wine estates and brands, including Thandi Wines, the world’s first Fairtrade certified wine brand, and King Goodwill Zwelithini’s royally ‘Bayede’ wines, will be exhibiting at the 10th TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival, happening from 4- 6 September at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus.

Brought in by Massmart, the other empowerment wine estates and brands exhibiting will be Women in Wine, Libby’s Pride Wines, M.I.L.K Wines (from the Food & Wine Factory), Ses'fikile Wines,Seven Sisters, Thembi Wines, M’Hudi Wines, Koopmanskloof and Solms Delta.

Says Mnikelo Mangciphu, co-founder of the TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival and owner of Soweto’s first wine specialist shop, Morara Wine Emporium, “The festival was started in 2005 with the vision to encourage, educate and grow the middle class wine drinkers in Mzansi, so what better way to celebrate our 10th year than to introduce South Africa’s leading BEE wine estates and brands to Msanzi’s wine connoisseurs.”

Launched in 1995, Thandi Wines is the country’s first BEE wine agricultural project located in the Cape Winelands. The company is owned by 250 farm worker families who hold 55% shares and farm land-ownership over three farms. In 2003, Thandi Wines became the first wine brand in the world to receive Fairtrade accreditation. Based in Elgin, the company produce their own wines, ranging from sparkling to single and dual-variety blends.

Bayede, meaning “Hail the King” in isiZulu, was founded to honour King Goodwill Zwelithini’s 60th birthday in 2008. Under renowned winemaker, Altus le Roux, the Bayede wines are sourced from wine estates and wine farms of the Stellenbosch, Western Cape, Robertson, Franschhoek, Paarl and Coastal regions. All Bayede wine bottles are decorated with beadwork created by 500 women employees from rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

Women in Wine is an empowerment partnership between 20 black women from the Cape Winelands region who all share the dream of giving women, especially farm workers and their families, a share in the wine industry. Wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Wine Chardonnay.

After a career in the wine industry spanning over 10 years, Elizabeth Petersen decided to follow her dream of establishing her own wine brand and thus Libby’s Pride Wines was born. Under the guidance of winemaker, Hennie Hustinsson, Libby’s Pride produce six varietals, namelySauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Signature Red blend.

M.I.L.K Wines, which stands for My Intimate Liquid Kisses, is an adventurous brand that takes a passionate approach to wine marketing, naming the Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot Blend ‘The Dreamer’s Kiss’, “because sometimes we all need to be taken to another world. Tender and long-lasting, when tasting this dreamily delicious, seductive red wine, it takes you to a place you have always wanted to be.” Other product names include the The Connoisseur’s Kiss (Cabernet Sauvignon), The Smooth Operator’s Kiss (Merlot), The Everyday Kiss (Chenin Blanc) and The Socialite Kiss (Savignon Blanc).

Ses'fikile, meaning "we have arrived" in Xhosa, is another all-women owned company established by three ex-school teachers from Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. Ses'fikile Wines are made in conjunction with winemakers from Flagstone Winery and varietals include Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.

Seven Sisters was launched in 2007 by the Brutus family, seven biological sisters from Paternoster, a fishing village on the Cape's West Coast. Sourced from vineyards in the Swartland area, the company sells seven wine varietals, each named after one of the sisters and carefully styled to match the personality and character of each sister. The USA is the company’s biggest market, with Seven Sisters’ Sauvignon Blanc Vintage Vivian having been served on American Airlines since 2009 – the first wine in South Africa to have achieved this.

Based in the Paarl Valley, Thembi Wines is a joint partnership between ThembiTobie and Boland Kelder. Notable products include the Fairtrade ThembiChenin Blanc, rated 3-stars by Wijnalmanak, the most widely read international guide for wine. Thembi Wines also produce a Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.

M’Hudi Wines is a family-run wine estate in Stellenbosch managed by Malmsey Rangaka alongside her husband Diale, the estate’s viticulturist and export marketer, and their winemaker son, Tseliso. Their daughter and youngest son manage the marketing, events and branding for the estate, which produces varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Shiraz.

Presented by Joburg Tourism, the 10th TOPS at SPAR Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival is happening from Thursday 4th September to Saturday 6th September 2014. Opening times are Thurs & Fri – 6 pm to 10 pm and Sat – 5 pm to 9 pm. The venue is the University of Johannesburg, Main Hall, Soweto Campus, Chris Hani Road, Soweto.

To find out more and to book tickets go to


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