About The Inventer

Johan Venter is a legend of South Africa’s globally renowned brandy industry, and The Inventer is his legacy.

Having learned from legendary masters, the lad from Mbombela built a career that saw him rise to become the most influential head of South Africa’s prized brandy industry. When Johan Venter retired from Distell in 2019, it was as chief of its Centre of Excellence: Intrinsics – arguably the heart of the multinational’s premium drinks portfolio.

He headed up some of South Africa’s biggest and most accomplished brands including Klipdrift, Van Ryn’s and Oude Meester, and was instrumental in mentoring many of the current generation of brandy masters too.

As a distilling and blending specialist, with a master’s degree in microbiology, he was an expert judge at the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Competition over 20 years.

“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.”

After retirement in 2019, Johan spent five months in Scotland as Whisky Master of three international whisky distilleries owned by Distell, namely Tobermory, Deanston and Bunnahabhain. Here, he refined blends and developed new products.

He tried to enjoy his new-found freedom of retirement, but he couldn’t stay away. The seed of The Inventer took root, and the new project started to take shape. In fact, this creativity and skill was the inspiration of The Inventer name itself, which reflects Johan’s personal hand and the ingenuity of the spirits he has crafted.

The Inventer is a realisation of a long-held dream. Johan’s creations are products of a true master of his craft, an exceptional range.

“I’ve always wanted to make create spirits that were uniquely South African, that tasted of this country and were true to themselves,” he says.

“Over 20 years of judging has not only given me an especially wide spectrum of the world’s great spirits, but it has also brought context of where South Africa ranks.”

“While our brandies are consistently recognised as the best in the world, they are also uniquely South African in the richness of their character. Surely the best you can give a drinks enthusiast is a premium South African brandy?”

He chuckles: “Even better if it’s one of mine!”