Italian company says it's 'sick of the controversy' over its Hitler wine

Vini Lunardelli will stop selling its dictator wines next year


A picture taken on September 14, 2017 shows bottles of wine with pictures of Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin at a shop in the center of Rome. Italy's lower house of Parliament voted for the introduction of an article in the penal code punishing "anyone who propagates the images or contents of the Italian former Fascist Party or the German former Nazist Party" affects production, distribution, diffusion or sale of goods depicting people, images or symbols, and increase of one-third of the punishment for the crimes committed through the web, the rectification of the law is now awaiting voting in the Senate. / AFP PHOTO / Alberto PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

An Italian winery that has long produced wine named for fascists and dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini says that it will stop next year, saying they are “sick and tired of all this controversy”. 

Andrea Lunardelli, who is expected to take over the family-owned Vini Lunardelli next year, says that the “historical” lines will come to an end in 2023. 

“That’s enough. We’re sick and tired of all this controversy,” Lunardelli told Italian newspaper Repubblica this week, adding: “So from next year, the whole historical line with labels of people like Hitler and Mussolini will disappear.” 

If Lunardelli carries out his pledge, it would bring an end to the Nazi-themed business that the company has undertaken since 1995, when it first introduced the series. 

There are 37 different labels currently listed on the company’s website, featuring fascists and dictators such as Josef Stalin, General Franco, Adolf Hitler, and other Nazi figures. 

Notably, the company's Facebook page posted in February about how the business stands with Ukraine following Russia’s brutal invasion.

Despite Adolf Hitler having been teetotal, many of the bottles feature Nazi-themed slogans, such as “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!” (“One People, One Empire, One Ruler”); “Sieg Heil” (“Hail Victory”)” and “Der Prosecco Vom Führer” (“The Führer’s Prosecco”).

The wines have long been the subject of outrage, most recently this month after a tourist in Jesolo, a resort 20 miles from Venice, encountered the bottles in a supermarket, and posted on Facebook: “A shock! In an Italian supermarket! The bottles are very popular with German holidaymakers, the saleswoman explained with a laugh. 

“Supposedly it’s been around for years! But for me, it was new, and I couldn’t believe it!” 

The controversies started as long ago as 1997 when the German government filed several complaints with the authorities, and Italian police also seized bottles in 2007 to “minimize fascism’s propaganda”, a decision overruled by a judge. 

A couple from the US again raised concerns publicly in 2012, and triggered an inquiry by Italian prosecutors. 

In an interview with Vice News last week, Andrea Lunardelli said: “Whoever buys [the Hitler wine] is a collector, or remembers history, or wants nationalism against the current policies of multinationals… not against Jews.” 

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