Our History In a Nutshell

About - Wonky Wines | Exclusive, Export-quality WinesOnce upon a time:

It all started when Kathy’s daily to-do list took her to the door of a very reasonably priced wine vendor. Delighted with Kathy’s bargain discovery, her husband shared the news with all their friends. It didn’t take long before Kathy was being asked by all her friends and acquaintances to pick up their wine too.

The challenge:About - Wonky Wines | Exclusive, Export-quality Wines

And then winter came, and with it, driving rains that transformed her unpaved driveway into a muddy mess. Imagine the schlep of darting back and forth between the car and the house with a child on each hip, plus boxes and boxes of wine to get in out of the rain. Something had to change!

The idea:

Her plan began simply enough. Her first priority would be to pave the driveway. And instead of collecting everyone else’s wine at her own expense, she would charge just enough to cover her petrol expenses plus a little extra to get that driveway paved.

The idea keeps growing:About - Wonky Wines | Exclusive, Export-quality Wines

Never one to settle for peanuts, Kathy began to dream. What, for instance, if she started a little discount wine business of her own…? Despite an initially skeptical husband, by the end of the second month Kathy was in a position to apply for a liquor licence and by the third month had made enough to have the driveway paved!

Fourteen years later:

Kathy has built up trusted relationships with local wine farms and has a broad base of customers. She’s expanded her wine sales and has built a wonderful wonky community!

In Her Own Words

Hi, my name is Kathy, and I am the owner of Wonky Wines —aka, the witty wine wonk or Katherine the Grape! For those of you interested in how Wonky Wines came into being, here goes…

Qualified in the financial services industry and sucked into the corporate rat race for many years, I decided to come home and play “mommy” to my two children. The plan, in addition to being fully present to my children, was to help my husband and my father in their business. Little did I know that a very different plan was afoot!

One day my to-do list took me to the door of a very reasonably priced wine supplier—good news since it was seldom that we were able to afford the regular retail prices. Delighted at my find, my dear husband, who cannot resist telling the world about a good deal, started sharing our new-found wine bargain with all our friends. It didn’t take long before my transition back to queen-of-the-home included being the designated wine picker-upper!

Cathy - Wonky Wines | Exclusive, Export-quality Wines

Playing the mommy-game was great, except that my new role as the wine delivery lady had a few frustrations related to the house we’d bought a few years earlier. Whenever it rained I had to navigate the muddy mess that was our unpaved driveway and non-existent garage. Now let me tell you, carrying two little souls through the pouring Cape rain to the car was a mini nightmare every time. Being a problem-solver, I thought long and hard about the situation, and voila! it hit me. There I was, running around for everyone, at my expense. Shouldn’t I be paid for my petrol, at the very least? So I talked to my husband, and well, he thought I was mad, shocked that I would even think of ripping off (as he put it) our friends. 

My plan at that point was simple: charge enough to cover petrol expenses plus a little extra. My aim, of course, was to make enough money to pave the non-existant driveway (see Cape rain above), but the idea kept growing… what if I started a little wine business? A little sceptical, my husband said we’d talk seriously if I sold 20 cases in the first month. The first month passed and I sold 200 cases. My husband laughed, chalked it up to luck and said we’d talk after month 2. Well, as they say, the rest is history. At the end of the second month we submitted our liquor license application and in the third month the driveway was paved!

And so it was that on 1 August 2006, my third child, Wonky Wines was born. What a blast it’s been!


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