The Italian Way to Scotland's Finest Whiskies
"Anybody who loves whiskey can't be all bad."
W.C. Fields (1880-1946)
Since 1992, the independent whisky-bottler Wilson & Morgan has offered a fine selection of rare Scotch malt whiskies to connoisseurs all over the world. Wilson & Morgan selects only the best malts from 10 to 30 years of maturation, sometimes after re-casking for finishing in port, rum or Marsala casks. These malts are bottled at peak maturation and then shipped to countries all over the world, including Japan, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and of course Italy, where today, they can be found in selected outlets, Michelin Star restaurants, wine and gourmet shops.
Robert Burns meets The Merchant of Venice
"And fill them high with this generous juice,
As generous as your mind,
And pledge me in the Generous toast,
The whole of human kind!"
Robert Burns, Scottish Poet (1759 - 96)
The story of Wilson & Morgan is inseparably linked to the history of the Venetian family of the Rossis. In the 1920s, as Venice experienced the last afterglow of its former merchant empire, the wine and oil merchant Giuseppe Rossi, grandfather of today's chairman of Wilson & Morgan, Fabio Rossi, moved from Venice to the mainland and settled in Treviso, a picturesque and thriving town, half an hour from the ‘Laguna Venetia’ and, since old times, favoured as a summer resort by the Venetian nobility.
After the Second World War, Giuseppe’s son, Mario Rossi, took over the business and expanded it during the hard post-war years. In the1960s, the company thrived as never before and Mario Rossi decided that it would be time to take a decisive step forward by beginning to import whisky from the land of its origin - Scotland. Due to the tastes of the time, the first whiskies imported were blended sorts and it took - even in Italy, where palates are most refined - nearly ten years before the taste buds of Mario Rossi’s clients demanded a more distinguished taste. Thus, in 1970 Mario Rossi began buying premium-blended whiskies directly from the Scottish distilleries.
"I still remember the strong smell of peat in our house when I was a kid", says Fabio Rossi, founder and chairman of Wilson & Morgan and one of Mario Rossi’s two sons, who taught his boys early on the secrets of the trade. In the 1980s, Mario Rossi and his sons Fabio and Walter, seeing which way the wind was blowing, began to introduce the "King of Whiskies" to their clients - single malts, independently bottled.
Being indeed Scotland's finest, the single malts bought by the Rossis from the Scottish distilleries were selected personally by Fabio Rossi. The oenologist, who studied and mastered the art of wine-making in Conegliano, Italy, has one golden rule for making his choice: "Trust your palate and your instinct." And it is not least due to this rule, that today Wilson & Morgan whiskies are such an especially distinguished choice of fine and rare single malts.