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Lesotho Wine and Crafts Festival returns


VISITORS enjoy some of the wines on offer in a previous edition of the festival.
VISITORS enjoy some of the wines on offer in a previous edition of the festival.

Mohalenyane Phakela

THE fourth edition of the Lesotho Wine & Crafts Festival is penciled for 5 September at Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village and will feature up to 20 boutique wineries and local traditional crafts.

Founded by distributor Paulo De Freitas and launched in 2012, the festival is one of the country’s premiere events promoting the country’s wine culture.

It is hosted by Lesotho Wine and showcases wines from as far afield as Cape Town, South Africa. The fete also serves the purpose of exposing locals to various types of wines and how they differ in regard to composition and the methods used to produce them, thereby inspiring Basotho to venture into the industry.

According to the festival’s coordinator, Mathato Mochekele, wine aficionados will be able meet, sip and swirl wine as well as appreciate various gourmet treats and quirky traditions. As in previous years, the focal point of the celebration is set to be the food and wine marquee at the centre of the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village – next to the Amphitheatre Hall.

“The event will give people the opportunity to sample and understand wines so they can decide which ones they prefer,” Mochekele said on Friday.

“They will also have the chance to be taught how to distinguish between different types of wines and the meals they are best served with.”

She said Sunny Wine would be the only winery representing Lesotho alongside South Africa’s Durbanville Hills, Holden Maz and Beaumont. The festival will also showcase traditional Sesotho cuisine prepared in a contemporary style.

“This edition will feature a lot of crafts as they will be granted a free pass to exhibit and sell their artefacts to tourists from such places as Europe who have already booked their tickets,” said Mochekele.

“The intention is also to promote local tourism as we will also host an expo for local traders and a media fair on the eve of the festival to ensure they can effectively showcase what Lesotho has to offer in terms of crafts and hospitality.”

Last year the Lesotho Wine & Crafts Festival had fewer visitors than expected amid worries of safety by potential festival-goers following the army raid on police stations on 30 August 2014.

However, she said they were expecting the festival to grow in stature this year and to extend it beyond one day.

“Based on the reception we have been getting since we launched in 2012, we are hoping to make it a whole weekend event by next year,” Mochekele.

She said the final festival programme would soon be made available.

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