A decade in the making – Lesotho Wine Festival 2023 Experience

Lesotho Wine Festival, established in 2013, celebrated a decade in the making in Maseru on 7 October 2023. Curating wine events and experiences in and around Lesotho, Lesotho Wine Festival continues to bring pleasure to the palate, while creating opportunities to network and educate Basotho about wines.

The Lesotho Wine Festival, the flagship event, has grown to become thee lifestyle event on the social calendar, attracting guests far and wide. Celebrated annually, the festival brings some of the best wine brands under one roof and celebrates fashion, artistry and culture. As the festival grew over the years, it gradually hosted some of the most talented entertainers, arts, and crafts vendors to showcase at the event, making it one of the most favoured lifestyle events to attend in Lesotho. 

Photo by Titan Lens Photography

As a regular festival attendee (and content creator), the build up to the 10th annual celebration was intriguing, at least for me. From grape harvesting in February this year, wine and food pairing pop-up events, wine tasting sessions and engaging content on social media throughout the year, it was clear that this year’s festival was not one to be missed. Themed ‘A decade in the making’, the Lesotho Wine Festival was a good experience, albeit some glitches that I believe can improve which I will discuss later. 

Photo by Space Inc. Lesotho

My Lesotho Wine Festival Experience

Being a liker of everything lifestyle – fashion, food, and wine, planning for events like the wine festival is something I do passionately and effortlessly – from the outfit, company to keep and overall mood. Dressed in a House of Hannah garment, I arrived at Maseru Club around 12 noon on Saturday, 7 October 2023 to a parking lot that was already filling up very quickly. A VIP ticket in hand, the check-in process was seamless and quick, despite the brewing dust storm and wind. I gracefully entered the VIP section, posed for a picture and was greeted with a welcome drink and a light snack. 

Though I am not much of a ‘foodie’, the eight-course gourmet food (if I remember correctly), were tasty and served throughout the day. The promise of bottomless bubbles and gin was met, at least until 3:00pm. Stepping outside of the VIP section, I got to visit various wine farms present, with over 100 wines available to taste. I’ll admit that I only stuck to sparkling wine to avoid being tipsy and making a spectacle of myself. The setup and decor were nice, with branded umbrellas around the venue, different stalls and vendors showcasing and good music playing in the background.

The live entertainment and performances that came later during the day, brought the event to life, with many taking to the dance floor. From the poetic and jazzy performance by Sunday’s Best, the electrifying performances by Naledi Mohapi and euro-centric sounds of Morena Leraba, the dusty dance floor was lit. 

Photo by Space Inc. Lesotho

Outside of the wine tasting and live performances, like I previously mentioned Lesotho Wine Festival is a networking event. From long lost friends, acquaintances, ex-lovers, and business associates, this is the perfect event to connect, catch up and meet new people. 

How can the experience improve?

It would be remiss to only share positive highlights of the wine festive. As both a consumer and content creator collaborating with Lesotho Wine Festival organisers, it is key to also provide constructive feedback that can improve the experience as we forge towards the next decade. 

  • Crowding at the event

In my view, both the VIP and regular sections were very crowded, with close to no room to move around and enjoy the wine tasting. Trying to taste the wines and engage with wine farms felt rushed and unpleasant with other patrons breathing heavily over you. Perhaps, limiting the number of tickets sold or finding a bigger venue to accommodate more people is something to consider going forward to ensure the best user experience. 

  • Access to water 

With over 100 wines and gin available to taste on the day, it makes sense to have water in abundance. Sadly, however, access to water (at least for me) was a limited resource at the festival. You would have to find a waiter to buy water and wait a while before quenching your thirst. Not only were people tasing different wines, but it was scorching hot and dusty outside, hydration was important! I would recommend a constant supply of water during the day or water booths/stalls where people can hydrate.

All in all, I genuinely had a great time at the wine festival. As we forge towards the next decade, my hope is that we will continue to support lifestyle events such as the Lesotho Wine Festival and provide ongoing constructive feedback to help them improve and create even better experiences. The responsibility to create memorable experiences also lies with us as Basotho. Let’s keep showing up, dressing up and bringing positive vibes. Here’s to another decade, here’s to more wine experiences!!! 

For more information visit www.lesothowine.co.ls

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