Written by: Esnala Banda
They say life is too short to drink bad wine, and Linga Winery, located in the leafy suburbs of Area 3 certainly makes it a point to offer guests a most wonderful experience.
Since Malawi doesn’t have the typical climate to grow grapes like most wineries around the world, the winery has gotten creative and offers 8 varieties of fresh wine produced from other fruits.Guests can indulge in wines made from Hibiscus, Jambula, Mulberry, Plum, Rosella, Strawberry, White Guava and White Peach which are procured from rural farm families across Malawi.
Here, you can learn not only the history of the Winery, but also witness the various processes and technologies involved in making the wines, and of course sample at least 3 varieties of Linga Fruit Wine.
The winery was founded by the late Dr Timothy Ngwira who was introduced to wine making in 1978 by the retiring missionary, late Tom Colvin. Starting out as a hobby making wine for family friends, the winery expanded into a commercial entity in 2006 and is now run by Mrs Margaret Ngwira and her sons Christopher and Ronald as partners.
Wine tasting is an everyday affair at Linga, and visitors can book in advance to enjoy a 90minute tour. These wine tasting sessions have become a popular part of Lilongwe social events see groups of up to 12 partake in the Linga Winery offerings at a go. The winery produces up to 20,000 litres of wine annually some which take up to 5 years to mature.
The tour kicks off with a welcome Linga Spritzer, and after and networking over Malawi coffee, tea and home baking, guests are given an explanation to the background of the winery and the processes and welcomed to view some Linga videos.
This is followed by a visit to the wine production and processing areas. Here, visitors sit at the big table, get to everyone’s favourite part; sampling wine. Visitors are free to evaluate the wines using their own preferences as well us the guidelines set in the material handouts provided.
Sampling done, guests are led on a tour of the winery garden and fruit –producing trees, and if they are lucky may spot a mongoose, turacos and certainly the birds flocking the birdbath.
A Wine Quizz may also be enjoyed after the tour with a prize bottle for the entry with the most correct answers and an opportunity to purchase Linga Winery favourites at a wholesale price to close off the day.