Italian winemaker to stop selling Hitler wine

Move follows years of controversy.

An Italian winemaker has announced plans to discontinue a controversial range of wines whose labels feature images of dictators including Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Vini Lunardelli, which launched the so-called "historical" wines in 1995, will cease producing the entire line from 2023, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The winemaker, located near Udine in Italy's north-eastern Friuli Venezia Giulia region, is also known for its wine bottles emblazoned with pictures of Josef Stalin, Francisco Franco and Heinrich Himmler.

The move to phase out the wine range comes as Andrea Lunardelli, 57, prepares to take over the management of the company from his father, 80.

Lunardelli told La Repubblica that both he and his father were "tired of all this controversy", stressing: "We are not Nazis and ours has never been an apology for fascism".

The decision to quit producing the wine range follows years of controversy and complaints from Jewish groups as well as negative international media coverage and even death threats.

The wines, which also feature labels with Nazi slogans, are sold legally in more than 50 outlets in Italy, and are often bought by foreign tourists.

The controversial wines are also available via the winery's website which states: "This is a commercial site only. We deny any kind of political propaganda."

Out of the 20,000 bottles from the Lunardelli "historical" line sold each year, around 12,000 feature Hitler and 6,000 Mussolini, reports La Repubblica.

Photo The Drinks Business