The Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival, taking place on the 12 and 13 May, began 25 years ago.
The story goes: in 1990, Juliet Cullinan, who at that time was working as a freelance wine writer, managed to persuade 20 winemakers to partake in wine show that she was putting together at the Inanda Club.
She believed that there was a market for exclusive boutique wines from smaller, high quality Cape wineries that would appeal to a high-end niche market. More importantly she wanted to provide a forum for interaction between wine lovers and cellar masters.
The concept was a success, and Cullinan, since then, has staged an annual show. Each winery featured in the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival is handpicked for its quality and distinction.
Cullinan has stuck to her formula of exclusivity and this year, will host ‘around 50 of the country’s top winemakers’.
Standard Bank took on the sponsorship of the event fifteen years ago. Cullinan’s high-end wine market was a good match for the bank’s high value corporate and investment banking client base. “I am grateful for Standard Bank’s support for the art of winemaking,” she said.
After many years and different venues, the festival is returning to the Inanda Club and will enjoy the newly refurbished Polo Lounge. “I am so excited to be back at the Inanda Club. This elegant venue which overlooks the polo field is looking spectacular. It is fitting that the event has returned to the place it was first launched,” she said.
Again Makro will be the festival’s retail partner with their Sip & Shop. Festival goers will be able to buy wines at discounted prices on the night.
Cullinan has fond memories of her first show. “I remember the late Ross Gower doing flick flacks at the event which was also supported by Giles Webb of Thelema, Lowell Jooste from Klein Constantia and by Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finlayson. I had to laugh because at the end of an intense couple of days the winemakers, after they had packed up their stands, decided what they really needed was a nice cold beer.”
DATE: 12th & 13th May 2015
VENUE: The Polo Room, Inanda Club, 1 Forest Road, Inanda, Sandton
TIME: 17:30 – 21:00
COST: R280 online and R320 at the door
Tickets available through webtickets.co.za