Get into the Christmas spirits

Surprise your loved ones with an exclusive bottle of brandy from South Africa’s brandy master

By Tayla Sassen
The Inventer Brandy Ⓒ Supplied

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the nostalgia of pine-scented trees, roast dinners, and brandy-soaked Christmas pudding. Give the gift of a Christmas memory this season with a unique, special-edition bottle of brandy.

As the name behind some of the country’s most prestigious and iconic brandy brands, Johan Venter has made a name for himself as South Africa’s premier distilling and blending specialist. And now, he’s released his own personally crafted range of limited-release brandies, the XO Rosso, and the XO Blanco.

Named The Inventer, this collection of potstill XO brandies has been crafted traditionally with double distillation in copper pot stills and aged for up to ten years in French oak barrels. With his master’s degree in microbiology, Venter has offered his expertise as a judge at leading local and international brandy competitions for over 20 years. Now, he’s using that knowledge to produce the perfect brandy. “Judging has not only given me an especially wide spectrum of the world’s great spirits, but it has also brought context,” he says. “This field of premium spirits is something I love, and The Inventer is my own personal contribution.”
The brandies were meticulously crafted using different cultivars that were distilled and matured separately prior to blending. The XO Blanco is a twist on a classic South African favourite, with a Chenin blanc base and a dash of Sauvignon blanc, Ugni blanc and Hanepoot to add some complexity.

The Inventer Brandy Ⓒ Supplied

“After tasting several stand-out barrels, I knew these four were the perfect selection from which to craft this XO Blanco. You can taste the African sunshine in every sip, and it’s magical,” says Venter.

The XO Rosso is a voluptuous blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from award-winning Stellenbosch vineyards that is sure to delight and intrigue even the most discerning brandy connoisseur. While producing brandy from red wine cultivars is still a fairly new concept in South Africa, Venter says of his choice, “I hand-picked these two barrels as they showed strong red fruit characteristics and luxurious wood attributes that perfectly expressed the red wine character.”

With only 820 bottles available for purchase, this is the perfect gift for your loved ones with a taste for exclusivity. The potstill brandy XO range is available for purchase exclusively from The Inventer website.

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