/ 12 September 2023

Avante Brandy unites 15 rugby icons to launch ground-breaking Cape brandy venture

Avante John Smit
World Cup winning captain John Smit heads up the squad of 15 global rugby superstars.

Join the Avante Gaurde movement to rub shoulders with the 15 and support young player development

Avante Brandy has launched a ground-breaking venture that brings together 15 global rugby superstars, and has proudly announced its entry into the world of brandy — it has its sights set on conquering the international spirits market with its world class VSOP brandy. This unprecedented collaboration brings together elite athletes and signifies a dynamic shift in the business landscape, championing a commitment to not only playing the game, but triumphing against all odds to win the World Cup of spirits.  

Led by World Cup winning captain John Smit, this squad is selected from international superstars past, present and future, including greats like George Gregan, Makazole Mapimpi, Raymond Rhule and Jean De Villiers,  driven by a shared goal and profound sense of purpose. These are not just men who have succeeded at the highest echelons of their sport, but men who have confronted adversity, faced failure, and taken the knocks, emerging from defeats all the stronger.

Recognising that their collective talent and unmatched willpower needed to be complemented by deep industry insight, these 15 luminaries have teamed up with industry leaders, visionary entrepreneurs, and the  renowned Oude Molen distillery in the heart of the Cape winelands. This distillery boasts a storied history of producing internationally-acclaimed, French-inspired brandy and is the perfect foundation for this audacious project.

This movement doesn’t stop at 15 men and their support team. The Avante Gaurde movement has contributors from all walks of life who know what it means to face setbacks, move forward despite defeat, and use every lesson as motivation to push harder.  Athletes, artists, entrepreneurs and everyday men and women are rallying behind the Avante Guarde movement, gaining exclusive access to the 15 and their insider knowledge. 


Those who purchase a bottle from this first exclusive presale batch will be granted access to the exclusive Avante Gaurde group, get their name on the gift box, and can win flights and tickets to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. They will rub shoulders in live and virtual meet-ups with the 15 and get up-to-the-minute and on-the-ground insights at  the World Cup and future sporting events. Together, as a unified collective, they will be able to share their expertise, challenge the status quo, overcome and move forward. Avante!

A percentage of every bottle sold will contribute to young player development, as well as post career support. The goal is to not only take sports to wider communities but to ensure that these athletes move forward past the hurdles of starting a career to become established entrepreneurs post their sporting careers. Board member and co-founder John Smit heads up the Thundafund charity relations for Avante. 

For access to John and his men, buy your bottle and join the Avante Guarde!