Master distillers for four generations
The history of the Caffo family business dates back to the end of the nineteenth century, when Giuseppe Caffo, the Master Distiller, class of 1865, began distilling pomace on the side of volcanic Mount Etna. After years of experience trading and managing distilleries, his dream became reality when in 1915 he bought an old distillery in Santa Venerina, Sicily. He intended fully dedicating himself to his passion and passed the knowledge he required onto his children. Initially, production was based in particular on spirits, alcohol and derivatives from wine production, however the Caffo distillery gradually began producing and becoming renowned on the market for certain liqueurs obtained from ancient recipes, the result of patient and painstaking research and re-working. These products, the fruit of wise dosing of aromatic and medicinal herbs, infused with top quality alcohol, immediately pleased drinks connoisseurs and the refined clientele of that age. The then youthful Sebastiano Caffo (1901) began to learn his fathers secrets of such an ancient and noble profession, soon becoming a "Master Distiller” himself. He demonstrated his ability to not only manage the family business, but also other distilleries which he took over, including the San Paolo Distillery in Noto and Castiglione Distillery in Sicily. In the meantime, the other “Caffo Brothers”, sons of the founder, gained experience in the sector, having returned after twenty years from Australia, with the intention of expanding the family business. And so, the company “Fratelli Caffo-Distillerie of alcohol, brandy and tartaric products” came about, founded by Sebastiano, Santo and Giuseppe Caffo with the intention of expanding the family company by acquiring an existing plant in Calabria, in Limbadi, a district famous at the time for its excellent red wine production. The presence of the distillery in an area famed for its wine production enabled availability of large quantities of raw materials for local distilling, from fresh pomace to wines, with little competition compared to Sicily. While respecting the traditional craft techniques of the company, the Caffo brothers made some fundamental changes to the distillation equipment and liqueur processes to obtain an excellent result. In 1966 the company was entirely taken over by Sebastiano Caffo with his son Giuseppe Giovanni, who still remains Group director and continues the family tradition together with his son Sebastiano Giovanni, taking his grandfathers place at a very young age. By blending experience and innovation, the distillery business has quickly grown in recent years and is now the fulcrum of a modern group with subsidiaries abroad. In particular, a new production plant was built beside the old distillery in Limbadi and in 2006 an existing distillery in the province of Udine (Friuli) was incorporated, specialising in high quality Grappa processes. Furthermore, Caffo Beverages inc. was established in 1999, as an importer of alcohol and wine with headquarters in New Jersey (USA), a presence for Caffo products in America. In 2001 Wild Orange Srl was established which manages various group businesses, including the management of sales networks with around 70 agents and 4 area managers around Italy. The new “Liquirizia Caffo” plant was set up in Vibo Valentia specialising in the production of pure Calabrese liquorice liqueur under the Caffo brand name and the Taitù brand name, using aromatic plant extracts mainly cultivated on the Caffo owned farm located in Limbadi, in the district of Feudo Montalto, a few kilometres from the Distillery. The same farm also cultivates two grape varieties, Sangiovese di Calabria and Gaglioppo, used to obtain acclaimed Calabrese red wine, respecting the ancient wine making tradition of Limbadi. The last to be established was the company Typical Srl with a management plant in Lipsia in Germany, with the objective of conquering the German market with Caffo products and other Calabrese specialities, thanks to a direct sales network specifically created by Caffo Group sales staff.