Italian Winemaker Defends Adolf Hitler-Branded Wine

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ASPartOfMe
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15 Aug 2022, 12:30 pm

But after fresh outrage from Jewish groups, Vini Lunardelli told VICE World News it would phase out its Nazi-themed wines... from next year.

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An Italian winemaker that sells its product in bottles emblazoned with pictures of Adolf Hitler and Nazi slogans says it plans to discontinue the range following the latest outrage over the branding.

Vini Lunardelli, a winery in northeastern Italy, has sold the offensive wine bottles since 1995, as part of a so-called “historical” line of wines, which also features dictators like Francisco Franco and Josef Stalin.

The wines are sold in more than 50 stores across Italy, and can also be ordered direct from the winery’s website, where buyers can customise “collectible” bottles with their choice of images of Hitler, or figures like his wife Eva Braun or leading Nazi Heinrich Himmler, along with Nazi slogans such as Blut und Ehre ("Blood and Honor") and "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" (“One people, one realm, one leader”.)

While the product can be sold legally in Italy, they’re illegal in countries like Germany or Austria, where there are strict laws against glorifying Nazism or spreading Nazi propaganda. The “Hitler wine” has sporadically made headlines over the years, often after a shocked foreign tourist encounters the product in an Italian store, as Dagmar Millesi, an Austrian doctor did, earlier this month.

“The store employee said Germans very much like to buy these wines, and they are clearly the big hit there,” Millesi told Austrian news site Heute.

“The saleswoman was even amused at my outrage … nobody is angry about it, no one forbids it … I couldn’t believe it.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which has repeatedly protested against the wine, said the wine was clearly targeted at a market of fascist sympathisers who sought to glorify the crimes of the Third Reich.

Vini Lunardelli has repeatedly insisted that it is not “political.” Winemaker Andrea Lunardelli told VICE World News via email that he was “absolutely not a Nazi,” and that the Hitler wine was produced for a market that wants to “remember” history, as well as in response to demand from customers.

“Unfortunately the most requested label [in the “historical” line] is Hitler – especially by Germans, but also by many British, Nordic, French and Russians,” he said. “But no Italian wants Hitler.”

He said the company would discontinue the entire “historical” line of wines from the start of 2023, when he would take over the running of the winemaker from his father, because he did not like the line and was sick of the controversies around the product.

But he insisted that he was shutting down the line because he wanted to, rather than because anyone was making him, and that the offence taken to the product was overblown and unreasonable.

“Whoever buys [the Hitler wine] is a collector, or remembers history, or wants nationalism against the current policies of multinationals… not against Jews,” he said.

“Besides, Hitler was a teetotaller, so we can even say that alcohol and Hitler are a nice joke.”

But the promise of withdrawing the line was little comfort to critics.

Shimon Samuels, director for international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, has been involved in protests against the wine line since it was first launched 27 years ago. He told VICE World News that previous protests had seen the product temporarily removed from shelves, only to return later.


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Matrix Glitch
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15 Aug 2022, 12:40 pm

I'm shocked that didn't go over well. Maybe they'll go with Saddam Hussein wine next.



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15 Aug 2022, 3:31 pm

I’ll wait for the Idi Amin and Papa Doc vintages to be released.


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15 Aug 2022, 3:43 pm

I want some Geoffery Daumier Chablis, next to my bottle of Hannible Lector's Cianti.

Both are perfect with ...that OTHER other White meat! For when you have either strangers, or friends, over "for dinner". With or without fava beans!



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15 Aug 2022, 4:54 pm

I'm more interested in how profitable his wine sales were? sounds like a lot of people with short memories.



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15 Aug 2022, 5:03 pm

He’s back ordered for the Charlie Manson Chardonnay.


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15 Aug 2022, 8:24 pm

I feel like I see a similar story every few years, though it's usually in the 3rd world somewhere where WWII doesn't really have any cultural relevance. 28 years is a pretty good run for the product though, I guess someone was buying it.


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15 Aug 2022, 9:25 pm

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15 Aug 2022, 9:57 pm

I'm sure that OJ Simpson Wine would be a great hit.


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15 Aug 2022, 9:58 pm

I'd like to purchase a bottle before it goes out of production.


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15 Aug 2022, 10:48 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
I want some Geoffery Daumier Chablis, next to my bottle of Hannible Lector's Cianti.

Both are perfect with ...that OTHER other White meat! For when you have either strangers, or friends, over "for dinner". With or without fava beans!


Dang it! You beat me to the serial killer wines! :lol:


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16 Aug 2022, 3:20 am

The Fuhrer would have been angry his brand was being used to dell wine but would have been even more furious to know his brand was being used to sell curry :lol:

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16 Aug 2022, 4:00 pm

The winemaker just announced that he is quitting wine business altogether, and that instead he will start a new used record store- the store will trade in 33's, 45's, and 78's, from every decade.

The name of his new store will be: "The Vinyl Solution". :D



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16 Aug 2022, 6:38 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
The winemaker just announced that he is quitting wine business altogether, and that instead he will start a new used record store- the store will trade in 33's, 45's, and 78's, from every decade.

The name of his new store will be: "The Vinyl Solution". :D


I'd like to buy some German stuff from his store.


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16 Aug 2022, 6:58 pm

Reinhard Heydrich's

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You knew I had to get in on this. :P


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17 Aug 2022, 2:21 am

Speaking of the vinyl solution