Time Out São Paulo

The whisky cathedral

Just an hour from São Paulo, the 'catedral do whisky' is home to a staggering collection of whiskies

If anyone knows about whisky, it’s the whisky-obsessed paulistano businessman Claive Vidiz, who collected whisky for 35 years, amassing the largest collection of Scotch whisky in the world – a staggering 3,384 bottles – until he sold his collection to Diageo in 2008 (you can now see it first-hand at Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience – scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk). 

But if you can’t make it to Edinburgh or can’t wait till you do, you can see (though sadly not taste) another whisky collection here in Brazil – in Itatiba, just over an hour outside São Paulo – at the self-styled ‘catedral do whisky’ (whisky cathedral). Here, whisky enthusiast José Roberto Briguenti has housed his collection of 7,000 whisky bottles (some now empty) in a purpose-built replica of a church in the grounds of his sítio (farm).

‘I’ve got whiskies from all over the world,’ says Briguenti. ‘Around a thousand of them are limited-edition whiskies in commemorative ceramic bottles.’ Briguenti, a thoroughly genial sort, spends his weekends there, and is delighted to show enthusiasts around, given a bit of notice. Email him at jbriguenti@terram.com.br to arrange a weekend visit. 


By Harry Balston
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