PLAINFIELD, NJ - Discover the wines of South Africa at the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library 2019 Wine Discovery fundraiser. The annual FOPPL event will feature two reds, two whites, two sparkling and two ports, and proceeds will benefit library programs.

South Africa has become one of the leading wine countries in the world, with roots dating back to 1659 when the first wine was successfully made from French Muscadel grapes. The wine industry in South Africa has grown immensely as winemakers experiment and plant a variety of grapes to find the best ones for their unique terrain.

South Africa does not have a specialty cultivar yet, but contenders include Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Some of these will be sampled at the FOPPL Wine Discovery.

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According to Wine Enthusiast, "South African wines offer impressively good value, and feature styles and tastes that are food friendly, blending elegance and power. South Africa has been producing wine since the first vines were planted in the 17th century, brought by the Dutch governors of Cape Colony."

The annual event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 at the historic home of Rob and Kate Fleshler, located at 1050 Rahway Road in Plainfield.  Flutist and keyboard artist Leona Sue Brown will treat guests to musical selections throughout the evening.

FOPPL is a group of volunteer members consisting of Plainfield residents, non-residents, library users, and library supporters who assist the Plainfield Public Library with fundraising, and promote the interests of the library throughout the year. The proceeds from the group's events support many programs and facilities enjoyed by the entire Plainfield community.

The current FOPPL Board is comprised of Plainfield volunteers; Marion Fowler, President; Belinda Smiley, Vice President; Gregory Hawkins, Secretary; Leana Walcott; Treasurer; CR Williams, Member; and Maxine Marshall, Member.  There are currently four vacancies on the board and the group is seeking additional members.

This year’s fundraiser proceeds will be particularly meaningful as the library seeks to fill budget shortfalls as no increases were approved for 2019. Budget cuts resulted in reduced weekend hours. 

RELATED: Plainfield Public Library budget reviewed with council and CBAC members 

FOPPL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group organized in 1960, and is the fundraising arm of Plainfield's award-winning library.  Proceeds from the group's events have supported many of the library's activities and facility improvements, including computers for the recently renovated Children’s Room, an HP Large Scanner/Printer, kitchen appliances, and funds for Literacy Services, Children’s Programming, Local History, Photo Contests/Exhibits, Adult Diversity Programs, Young Adult Programs, and Pre-School computers.  FOPPL also provides matching funds for grants.

Tickets for the 2019 Wine Discovery may be purchased online here or in person at the library, located at 800 Park Avenue. is Plainfield's free online daily newspaper for Plainfield, NJ news. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @PlainfieldTAP, and on Instagram @tapintoplainfield for all of your Plainfield local news.

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