From 1821 to today: the history of one of the oldest existing distilleries in the world
Founded in 1821, Luxardo is one of the oldest existing distilleries in the world. And it stands out among the few European liquor companies still wholly owned by the same family. “Being here to tell our 200 years is a profound emotion”, comments Franco Luxardo, senior partner. “It is not always possible to celebrate these anniversaries in person, it happens to me today and I am proud of it: with my thoughts on the past and hope in the new generations”.
Today, three generations of the family currently work together in the company, committed to ensuring due continuity to the legacy of Girolamo Luxardo
The company was founded by Girolamo Luxardo in Zara, for centuries part of the republic of Venice. Girolamo, a Genoese patrician dedicated to maritime trade, moved to Zara with his family in 1817. His wife, Marquise Maria Canevari, used to home-make liqueurs. Her specialty was Rosolio Maraschino, obtained by infusing morello cherries (locally grownsour cherries) in alcohol, sweetening, and combining the essence of roses to perfume. The high quality of this liqueur gave Girolamo the idea of exploiting the family initiative on an industrial scale. Thus, exactly 200 years ago, he opened a factory for the production of Maraschino. In 1829, after 8 years of improvements, he obtained a patent from the Emperor of Austria that reserved him the exclusive production for 15 years. Even today, Girolamo Luxardo’s privileged Maraschino factory name “Excelsior” is present in the company name. During WWII, the factory was almost destroyed and confiscated the semi-destroyed and the family dispersed. It seemed that, after more than a century, the business of Luxardo was destined to permanently cease. However, Giorgio Luxardo, surviving brother of the fourth generation, had the entrepreneurial vision to restart the old business from scratch in Torreglia (Padua).
Today, three generations of the family currently work together in the company, committed to ensuring due continuity to the legacy of Girolamo Luxardo. The Torreglia plant processes morello cherries to produce a total of over 6 million bottles a year. The company portfolio includes a complete mix of internationally successful brands to offer the consumer a wide range of classic Italian liqueurs. Maraschino and Cherry Sangue Morlacco are the two historical products, but there are also Sambuca dei Cesari, Amaretto di Saschira, Limoncello, Aperitif etc.