About Us

 

 

Wine is Life (Horace 65-8 B.C.)

We are a small team of friends who are passionate about wine, and happen to just love everything about it. Its sense of history and place, and not least etiquette. We might just unashamedly confess that, if we are not drinking wine at any given time, chances are that we are looking for the next best thing in wine to savour with our eyes rolling skywards.

To us, enjoying wine is nothing but heavenly bliss – and much more as we believe sipping on the glass of a jolly good wine, not only nourishes the soul, but is something close to suckling on the nipple of nature’s earthly goodness.

Much cherished are the wonderful memories we have had with wine so far, and no doubt the many more still to unfold; which shall remain the centrepiece of our lives for eternity. Our shared wonder and optimism for the nectar and its mystique invariably imbues us to see – all for better – the world through the rose-coloured glasses.

Most importantly, we strongly believe that a wine drinker should be the judge of the glass of wine they are swigging – hence our slogan “Love the wine you’re with”.

Enjoy the journey and adventure with wine – just as we do, with gay abandon. Cheers!

 

Meet the Team

 

LenLen Maseko is the co-founder of the blog and a hopeless wine romantic whose passion for the noble nectar motivated him to team up with the equally incorrigible wine lovers, Paballo “Pabs” Mokgabudi and Tshepo Selelane, to found Sowetowinexplorer.com in 2017.

Len’s journey of discovery with wine began during the wild student parties of the mid-1970s, while hanging out with Wits University leftwing students in the weed-scented communes of Crown Mines, Doornfontein and Midrand.

In 1980, he hosted what may have been one of the first wine tastings at his home in Soweto. Welcoming a posse of intrepid Afrikaner winemakers on their first, groundbreaking visit to Soweto in 1989, remains a memorable highlight. Leading the visionary group of winemakers were Beyers Truter, Jan Boland Coetzee and Jannie Engelbrecht.

But it was his first trip to the Cape winelands in 1990 that became something of an epiphany, kindling his passion for wine. The week-long jamboree was sponsored by the Wine Foundation and KWV. Soon thereafter he started writing a wining and dining column for THE SOWETAN, which still appears in the paper today.

Since then, he has attended more than 800 wine tastings, master-classes and wine shows nationwide – including visiting the Cape winelands more than 200 times.

In his continuing quest for knowledge about wine, Len has completed several short wine education courses with the Cape Wine Academy, University of Stellenbosch and the London-based International Wine Education Centre.

Other highlights include being associate panel judge at the SAA Wine Awards in the 1990s, including being in reserve judging panel during an SAA Champagne selection trip in Rheims, France. He was appointed by the then Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza to serve on the inaugural board of the SA Wine Industry Trust between 1999 and 2001.

He has been a Gauteng columnist for the SA Wine Magazine; and contributed wine and brandy articles to Enterprise Magazine, The African Independent and SA Brandy Journal.

Len was part of a team of wine writers who created and blended the 2003 vintage of Nederburg AMATEUR – who included Cassie du Plessis, Michael Fridjhon, Kim Maxwell, Fiona McDonald, Melvyn Minnaar and Neil Pendock.Len Maseko is the co-founder of the blog and a hopeless wine romantic whose passion for the noble nectar motivated him to team up with the equally incorrigible wine lovers, Paballo “Pabs” Mokgabudi and Tshepo Selelane, to found Sowetowinexplorer.com in 2017.

Len’s journey of discovery with wine began during the wild student parties of the mid-1970s, while hanging out with Wits University leftwing students in the weed-scented communes of Crown Mines, Doornfontein and Midrand.

In 1980, he hosted what may have been one of the first wine tastings at his home in Soweto. Welcoming a posse of intrepid Afrikaner winemakers on their first, groundbreaking visit to Soweto in 1989, remains a memorable highlight. Leading the visionary group of winemakers were Beyers Truter, Jan Boland Coetzee and Jannie Engelbrecht.

But it was his first trip to the Cape winelands in 1990 that became something of an epiphany, kindling his passion for wine. The week-long jamboree was sponsored by the Wine Foundation and KWV. Soon thereafter he started writing a wining and dining column for THE SOWETAN, which still appears in the paper today.

Since then, he has attended more than 800 wine tastings, master-classes and wine shows nationwide – including visiting the Cape winelands more than 200 times.

In his continuing quest for knowledge about wine, Len has completed several short wine education courses with the Cape Wine Academy, University of Stellenbosch and the London-based International Wine Education Centre.

Other highlights include being associate panel judge at the SAA Wine Awards in the 1990s, including being in reserve judging panel during an SAA Champagne selection trip in Rheims, France. He was appointed by the then Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza to serve on the inaugural board of the SA Wine Industry Trust between 1999 and 2001.

He has been a Gauteng columnist for the SA Wine Magazine; and contributed wine and brandy articles to Enterprise Magazine, The African Independent and SA Brandy Journal.

Len was part of a team of wine writers who created and blended the 2003 vintage of Nederburg AMATEUR –

 Sowetowinexplorer.com is just but a humble  monument to our enduring passion for wine.”

 

Paballo Mokgabudi is co- founder and food content editor at Soweto Wine Explorer. As a self-described lover of all things food, Paballo is committed to producing exciting food content and shining light on people making moves in the culinary arts.

As a sales and marketing professional turned cook and food content editor, Paballo has developed a unique perspective when it comes to capturing the story behind her work and is inspired by young people making it happen in their fields.

She has spent several years developing healthy food practices in her own life and is currently most passionate about creating awareness of food nutrition in communities around South Africa.

Food has been a passion of mine and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been cooking my way through life. So here I am, at Soweto Wine Explorer focusing on exactly that. Merging my love for food (also wine) and content marketing- a dream!”

When she’s not keeping busy creating content or behind the stove, you’ll find her eating, spending time with family, making someone smile or running, and a lot of it.

 

Tshepo SelelaneTshepo Selelane is co-founder and the beer and spirits guy at Soweto Wine Explorer. Excited about the prospect of helping to bring wine culture and lifestyle to new audiences, he teamed up with Len Maseko and Paballo Mokgabudi on this journey.

Tshepo is an entrepreneur come blogger and who finds joy in immersing himself in new experiences – especially those involving delicious food and thrilling drinks. He is also a sports pundit and enjoys travelling.

I love a hearty meal and a good beverage to accompany it. I take pleasure in watching and commenting on all forms of competitive sports. What better way to spend my days than writing about the things that make me happy?”

Tshepo relishes the adventure that is Soweto Wine Explorer. He enjoys covering success stories of local winemakers and craft beer brewers that are reshaping their respective industries’ landscapes.

I am inspired by game changers that dare to step up to the plate and take a swing at life. I am here to tell their stories.”