Hitler wine shocks tourists
A range of Italian wines whose Fascist imagery sparked controversy a year ago has attracted further condemnation after reappearing on the country’s shelves.
A Norwegian couple on holiday in the coastal town of Rimini are reported to have spotted the bottles, which were adorned with images of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and a swastika, displayed on a shop shelf.
Speaking to English language website The Local, Paret Håvard said: “I was surprised that there was a market for something like this, because I thought that even in Italy, the market couldn’t be so big that it was economic to produce this kind of wine.”
Last year the same range of wines was removed from a Veronese supermarket in response to a complaint from a US tourist. At the time, the brand attracted condemnation from Italy’s integration minister Andrea Riccardi, who said that its presence “offends the memory of millions of people and risks compromising the image of Italy abroad.”
The wines form part of an “Historical Series” produced since 1995 by Udine-based company Vini Lunardelli. According to the firm’s website, the 50-strong collection is designed to “remind us of the lives of celebrated personages of Italian and world political history,” including Che Guevara, Winston Churchill, Karl Marx and Napoleon Bonaparte.
Available to order online, the “cult” collection features “Der Prosecco Vom Führer” at €9.90, a “Grappa Del Duce” at €12 and a “Napoleone I” Pinot Grigio at €8.00.
Responding to the furore over his company’s wines, owner Alessandro Lunardelli told The Local that the products were usually bought by tourists as a “joke gift”, adding: “it’s not meant to offend anyone.”