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SPOTLIGHT: DEETLEFS embraces the spirit of collaboration in support of the arts

Barbara Loots


Theatre Scene Cape Town has always promoted the idea of theatre as a lifestyle. Over the years we have partnered with people, companies and theatres who embrace this motto too, to help inspire people to go to the theatre. One of the biggest champions of the arts in these endeavors have been the Deetlefs Wine Estate.

The connection between wine and the arts have fascinated people since the early days of the gods, with Dionysus hailed as not only the god of wine, but also the god of music, poetry and theatre, with the ecstasy of the former inspiring the creation of the latter. Such a deity then turned gaiety into drama, with the festivals held in Dionysus’ name said to be a driving force in the development of theatre as we know it.

All this is our rather verbose way of saying wine and theatre go hand-in-hand as many an opening night patron will attest to with delight. It is with similar delight that we place the spotlight on Deetlefs to thank them for the verve with which they have supported the creative industries pre, during and post Covid: That type of committed backing of the arts is rather scarce, and deserves to be celebrated. So, that is what we are unashamedly doing with a walk down memory lane with our friends at Deetlefs.

Whether it be art exhibitions, fashion shows or theatre openings, in Cape Town you will more often than not see the Deetlefs brand stepping up as the wine partner for these events, promoting the actual events as much as celebrating their wine.

They invited Cape Town’s much adored duo, Lucy and Alex Tops, also known as the The Romantix, to perform at their 2018 Soetes en Sop festivities, while fashion and Deetlefs made everything fine (wine) at the 2022 South African Menswear Week and recent Jacques Lagrange shows. Even The Parlotones have been known to sample a bit of Deetlefs Malbec after a day in the studio. Now, in 2023, they also put their support behind an event at which Amanda Strydom sat in conversation with Isabella Niehaus and Louis Jansen van Vuuren about their award-winning book, Daar’s n Vegan op my Veranda.

But it’s the touch of class by glass they’ve brought to so many theatre events, that truly inspires us.

When Theatre Scene Cape Town assisted with the promotion of shows with #TweetSeats media nights, Deetlefs was quick to come onboard. Together we laughed and sipped some Chenin, while (discretely) live tweeting about Follow Spot Productions such as Big Boys (with brothers Ash and Bradley Searle) and the extravaganza that was Au Revoir at Kalk Bay Theatre. And let’s not forget the Maynardville pre-show #TweetSeat picnic fun, with Deetlefs joining us in supporting our promotion of the staging of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in 2017.

#TweetSeats with Deetlefs MCC saw them eventually joining Play Club nights with delicious red wine samplings, as Cape Town’s thespians read and discussed plays such as The Nativity that Goes Wrong, Gilbert is Dead and Peter & Alice.

In 2019, they also supported the big band music celebration, Two and a Half Tenors, starring Pierre Van Heerden and Paul du Toit. Du Toit loved the Deetlefs collaboration so much, he invited them along to the Drama Factory in Somerset West where his adaptation of Ronnie Kasril’s The Unlikely Secret Agent debuted in 2021, when theatres were only allowed limited capacity audiences mid-Covid. This was followed up with another opening night partnership for Die Goeie Pa starring Erika Marais at the Drama Factory in 2022.

Over the years, the theatrical side of magic also grabbed the attention of Deetlefs, seeing them frequently collaborating with local magician, Charles Tertiens, and most recently joining him in support of the Klask Cup Challenge of his latest endeavor, Gameville.

At the Baxter Theatre, Deetlefs has often stepped up to celebrate acclaimed shows such as Louis Viljoen’s The Hucksters (starring Nicholas Pauling and Emily Child) and, more recently another staging of the Unlikely Productions presented The Unlikely Secret Agent.

Covid be damned, they continue to raise a glass to the talent South Africa theatre has to offer. And if you are one of the lucky patrons heading to the Baxter Theatre again next week for the opening of Louis Viljoen’s The Visigoths (with Pauling and Daniel Newton) you will again get the opportunity to sample some of their delicious Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot as you discuss and revel in the power of independent theatre and the fact that it is shaking off the cobwebs of the pandemic and entertaining audiences once again.

So here’s a cheers to theatre as a lifestyle… with a great wine partner, and the Deetlefs moments it inspires.


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