The Wild Turkey brand was first introduced in 1940, however the distillery can trace its roots back to 1869 when the Ripy brothers opened their family distillery on Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
By 1893 their whiskey was well enough established to be chosen to represent Kentucky at the Chicago World Fair. Like many distilleries it was closed during Prohibition, but production restarted and has continued uninterrupted since then. The Ripy family sold the business in 1952 to the Gould brothers, who in turn sold to Pernod Ricard in 1980. Gruppo Campari is the current owner, it bought the business in 2008. Master Distiller Jimmy Russell celebrated 50 years at Wild Turkey in 2004, making is the longest-tenured, active master distiller in the world.