Vine takes root in Soweto
One of Joburg’s biggest and most iconic areas is not traditionally a wine drinking stronghold, but, times are a-changin’
On Kinini Street, near Soweto’s Mofolo Park (home to the Mofolo parkrun), is the Morara Wine & Spirits Emporium. It’s a bright red splash on an otherwise unremarkable street. Inside, it’s cool, elegant and a little dark, with shelves stacked with wine, and a resident sommelier on hand to give assistance. The owner, Mnikelo Mangciphu, is on a mission "to demystify the negative notions about wine — that wine is for whites, for the affluent, a drink for sissies — that you can’t be a man if you’re drinking wine," he says. He is one of the original co-founders of the Soweto Wine Festival, along with wine master and former CEO of the Cape Wine Academy, Marilyn Cooper. The festival is now in its 13th year, despite ups and downs, and the challenge of making wine broadly accessible, while simultaneously inculcating an appreciation for its serious side. "Over the years we’ve had to fine-tune the festival," says Mangciphu. "We want to attract people who understand that they’re there to grow th...