it begins...

Sarah planted 115,000 trees to raise R60,000 which was the first investment to start the business.

first investment

First investment of R 900,000 from first partner in business and Leonista brand launched.


Won our first global awards. Made first million rand in sales. Supplied 200 clients.


Launched new range Reposado Black. over R 2 million in sales. First export sales. Organically certified. Supplied 400 clients.


Won 2 awards - Blanco Gold Sip awards and Rep Black Silver Sip awards. Survived Covid-19 with an online store. Started selling direct. 5% of revenue now going to conservation. Export sales going to Australia and Taiwan.

Our Story

"Leonista" which means "Lion energy or Lion Person" is the first 100% Karoo agave spirit in the country made in the traditional Mexican way. The production process follows an age-old recipe used in Mexico to make agave spirits like Mezcal. It requires the agave plant to be cooked in smoke and fire, hence Leonista's delicious smoky flavor, similar to that of a Mezcal. Sarah, the Co owner and founder, went to Mexico on a research tour and learnt the process from the maestro distillers there. She fell in love with the spirit because 100% agave spirits, when drunk with respect, are the most energy fueling of all alcohols and don't give you a hangover. Since it is not made in Mexico it cannot be called Mezcal or Tequila but it is essentially a local Mezcal made using South African Karoo agave that has been growing there for hundreds of years.

Leonista is 100% USDA certified organic and is made for a conscious consumer who demands something of a higher quality, handmade and if treated with respect has energy giving properties and has less harmful effect on the body.

We also strive to have a positive impact on the world around us so a % of every bottle sold goes towards supporting African land and ocean conservation. Inspired by Patagonia Inc.