Cape Town, Western Province South Africa (PressExposure) December 18, 2006 -- Twenty-six centuries ago, the Greeks brought the art of winemaking to the shores of France. Yet Dutch colonialists only introduced viniculture to South Africa in the late seventeenth century. Today, Jonathan and Leslie Maliepaard offer a broad selection of the finest local vintages via their newly-launched online wine store.
Wine enthusiasts can now cyber-shop from the comfort of their home. The concept was born from the Maliepaard's appreciation of free-spirited independence and accessibility to things that enhance one's quality of life. Both Leslie and her husband Jon are keen adventurers, having sailed exotic parts of the world including the Papua New Guinea islands and across the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand.
As a little girl, Leslie dreamt of following in her ancestor's footsteps - quite a tall order, since her family is linked to Clotar Bouvier (the banker and sparkling wine producer who discovered the Bouvier grape). The Bouvier vines originated in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and spread to Austria. Clotar Bouvier, owner of a large vineyard estate, discovered the Bouvier grape in the early 1880's, in the midst of other vines on the Herzogenburg family estate. The historic cellars of the Radgona winery still exist, producing top quality wines and MÃ©thode Champenoise sparkling wines.
Leslie's new venture into the wine industry is the logical development of a passion for her family heritage and being ever keen for a business challenge. After years of financial management experience in the world of e-Commerce, and having travelled extensively, the Maliepaards together identified a niche market that led to their online wine boutique, WineWeb.
As MD of the demanding hands-on wine business, Leslie still finds time to work with charities, while organising tasting events, writing wine articles and networking globally. She stays in shape by playing golf, doing spinning classes, weight training and yoga. Leslie has trekked to live volcanoes and through tropical jungles as well as scuba-diving among the submerged wrecks of World War II ships and planes. Photography is another important interest. Her published images show a talent for capturing what the naked eye fails to see.
Leslie's husband, Jonathan, has a successful IT business, and as co-owner of WineWeb, created its well-designed, user-friendly website. Jon recently opened a Vespa "hospital", in the centre of Cape Town, specialising in the refurbishment and servicing of classic Italian scooters. He is an aspiring musician who holds weekly jam sessions, with friends, at their lovely home in Green Point. Completely fitness-orientated, like his wife, he enjoys golf, snow boarding, scuba diving and gym-training.
Apart from making available an array of rare wines and gift cards, including shipping specials and free competitions, to wine aficionados, WineWeb also offers e-Marketing and e-Commerce solutions to wineries. Leslie and Jon go out of their way to source exceptional character wines in limited quantities. This dynamic husband-and-wife duo say they are motivated by "love, respect and laughter" - an attitude that is certainly taking them places.