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Nobantu Shabangu was announced as the winner in the Leopard’s Leap Wines and Open Book Festival Message on a Bottle writing competition. The announcement took place at the opening ceremony of the festival, held at The Book Lounge in Cape Town on 4 September.

Shabangu’s contribution was selected from 360 entries for the way she combined words and wine in a reflective and nostalgic message for a bottle. Entrants were requested to use words on wine and to write a message for a bottle in 40 words or less incorporating at least 3 words from the list: Share, Quality, Story(ies), Time, Mellifluous, Taste, Vellichor, Aroma, Journey, Serendipity.

Here is the winning Message on a Bottle:

Time is infinite, we are not

But there is wine to share

Journeys to join

And isn’t that the beauty of it all,

That there is serendipity in this affair?

The three judges were Leopard’s Leap CEO Hein Koegelenberg, radio host, award-winning author and songwriter, Mohale Mashego and celebrated novelist, columnist and copywriter, Paige Nick.

Hein Koegelenberg: “We are passionate about the difference literature can make to everyday lives and I am delighted that we can celebrate this through our partnership with the Open Book Festival.  The Message on a Bottle competition aimed at finding innovative ways to share our love for wine and words. We were impressed with the quality of the entries, the imagination of the writers and their creative use of the prescribed words. Thank you to everyone who has supported the initiative and congratulations to Nobantu Shabangu. We are excited to have your message on our bottle!”

Shabangu wins a cash prize of R5000, passes to the Open Book Festival and a R500 voucher to spend at The Book Lounge. Her Message on a Bottle will also be the back-label copy of the 2017 Leopard’s Leap Merlot and she wins a supply of 12 cases to take her through the next year!”

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