Allegrini 2018

It’s never too late: from 2023 removed from shelves wines with Mussolini and Hitler on the label

After 25 years of scandal, controversy and denunciation, Friuli-based winery Vini Lunardelli finally takes a step back on its “historic” line
The “historic” line of Vini Lunardelli

It is never too late to repent. Even if it took something like 25 years to change course. In fact, the first heated debates, which saw the German government at the forefront, date back to 1997, on the line of Vini Lunardelli dedicated to the dictators of the past, from Hitler to Mussolini, from Stalin to Francisco Franco, who, as of 2023, as Andrea Lunardelli announced to “Vice”, will finally leave the scene. Between provocation and historical re-enactment, the meaning of which one struggles to understand anyway, the Friulian winery meanwhile rose to the media limelight by staying there for years.

WineNews first wrote about this back in 2003, but the most striking cases date back to 2009 and 2012. The protagonists of the first episode were a pair of French tourists, who demanded the immediate withdrawal from the shelves of a Carrefour in Varese of bottles with Hitler and Mussolini on the label. Only a few months earlier, in the Marche region, a restaurant customer was acquitted by the Justice of the Peace for calling restaurant owners who sold the exact same bottles “ignorant”. In 2012, however, the most striking fact: in a supermarket in the Verona area, after a few years of silence, bottles of Lunardelli Wines with Hitler and Mussolini on full display are back, and the complainant this time is a Jewish couple. The accusation? Always the same: “apologia of fascism”, as provided for in Article 4 of the “Scelba Law”, implementing the 12th transitory and final provision of the Constitution.

Even the defense line has never changed: it is a historical, noncelebratory line that does not make apologia, they have always retorted from the company. Since then, however, the case reached an international echo, and it became very clear that beyond the law, common sense would be enough to stop producing such labels. Yet, despite the intervention of international institutions such as Germany’s “Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Antisemitism”, or the “Simon Wiesenthal” center, a Jewish organization based in Los Angeles, California, committed to defending the memory of the Shoah and hunting down the criminals of Nazism still at large, the story has continued to this day. Returning, cyclically, especially in the summer, to the pages of national and international newspapers.

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