The Township Winery, Pride & Dignity

The sprawling townships of Cape Town zoom into view the moment you begin your descent into Cape Town Airport. Row after row of makeshift shacks; spreading for miles as far as the eye can see. Although huge efforts have been made to rehouse families in proper, brick-built accommodation, the areas continue to grow.

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The Township Winery is a first for South Africa. A black-owned boutique winery in the heart of the Township itself, bringing pride and opportunity to the women of the Townships. Township crafts, cuisine and culture are celebrated as part of the TW experience. The result is a unique destination for wine lovers – not a fine old domaine in Stellenbosch sitting amidst perfectly-manicured lawns, but a wholly African, completely real and authentic winery in the spiritual heart of Cape Town.

Virgin Wines has been supporting The Township Winery since the beginning. The first wine, Philippi Sauvignon Blanc, provided much-needed seed capital to kick-start the project. The second, The Fifty Six, was made in 2011 and is a classic Cape ‘field blend’. Its name commemorates the protests in Pretoria in August 1956, when twenty thousand women from all over South Africa marched to the Union Buildings and deposited huge bundles of signed petitions at the Prime Minister’s door, demanding equal rights for women. The whole event was a success, and the 9th of August is now celebrated as a national holiday in South Africa in recognition.

The Fifty Six 2011 is our own celebration of this historic moment; a bringing together of many parts to create an impressive whole. There’s a host of classic varieties including Cabernet for structure, Petit Verdot for rich colour, Shiraz for a voluptuous spiciness and Merlot for deep, velvety nuance. It’s the perfect summer BBQ tipple – rich, jammy and satisfying.

Philippi Sauvignon Blanc 2010 combines parcels of the finest fruit from Durbanville and Darling in a harmonious whole which is the epitome of high-end Cape Sauvignon. Lovingly crafted by renowned Sauvignon expert Nico Vermeulen, it has evolved into a soft, complex Sauvignon with nods to the old world Sancerre style and zippy lemony acidity (yes, it’s still got lots of zip even though it was made in 2010!)

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