Valentino (Rino) Zagatti was born into a farming family at Filo di Argenta in the countryside around Ferrara, Italy. He went blind at the age of 11 years. After primary school he studied the piano and accordion. Upon finishing school he continued to play the accordion, competing on national and international level against sighted people and always gaining first place for this instrument…
In 2015 Scotch Whisky International managed to take over the collection with a group of investors.
The whisky bottle named ‘An Italian Passion’ was the first bottle of his collection. In just over four decades his collection grew to 2.951 unique bottles of single malt whisky. The museum puts all 2.951 bottles on display.
- The oldest bottle in the collection is presumably the oldest unopened bottle of whisky in the world, bottled in 1843 and given as a wedding present. This unique bottle gets a special place in the centre of the exhibition.
- The youngest whisky is 3 years old and the oldest is 64 years old.
- 97% of the collection is Scotch whisky
- 81% of the collection is Scotch single malt whisky
- About a quarter of the collection is from three distilleries: Glenfarclas (126), Macallan (294), Glen Grant (229)
- The collection has several bottles produced during World War II. Only three distilleries in Scotland were producing during the war: Macallan, Highland Park and Glenlivet.
- There is 1 bottle of Australian whisky.
- 22 bottles are distilled in the 19th century.
When Valentino sold his collection nobody expected it would end up in the Netherlands. How did that come about? Well, a few years earlier, he had met Michel Kappen, owner of Scotch Whisky International and a true whisky enthusiast, who asked Valentino to consider him, should he ever want to sell his collection. They really hit it of, and Michel promised Valentino that if he bought the collection, he would keep it intact for at least 10 years and would build a special exhibition for it…