Luxardo is a family-owned company founded in Zara, a port city on the Dalmatian coast of what is now Croatia. Girolamo Luxardo, a Genovese businessman, and his wife, Maria Canevari, moved to Zara in 1817. It was Maria who began perfecting "rosolio maraschino," a liqueur produced in Dalmatian convents since medieval times from special maraschino cherries. Canevari's liqueur was of such high quality that it gained the attention of connoisseurs, and her husband founded the Luxardo Distillery in 1821 to produce her original Maraschino. Not long afterwards, the Emperor of Austria awarded the Luxardo liqueur the highest honor "Privilegiata Fabbrica Maraschino Excelsior."