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06.2013

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnWineReport

HELL HATH NO FURY . . .

Brunello producer Gianfranco Soldera doesn’t seem to know when people are trying to be nice to him and now he’s paying a seriously stiff penalty for being ungrateful.  Soldera has been expelled from the local Consorzio and sued for libel over newspaper remarks made in connection with sabotage at his winery.  It all started after disgruntled former employee Andrea di Gisi was jailed for four years for breaking into Soldera’s Case Basse winery and draining vats containing 62,6OO liters of maturing Brunello di Montalcino.  Following the vandalism, fellow producers and members of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino offered to donate ‘wine of solidarity’ to Soldera to compensate him for his loss.  But, speaking to Italian newspaper CORRIERE DELLA SERA after the court case, Soldera dismissed the gesture as “inadmissible and offensive, a fraud to the consumers.”  Announcing his resignation from the Consorzio, Soldera added, “They wanted to give me their wine: I would have had to bottle it as if it were my own, not knowing where it came from.”  Apparently, this didn’t sit well with the board of the Consorzio; they decided to expel Soldera immediately − his resignation would have taken effect only in 2O15 − thanks to his “highly improper behavior”.  And they are filing a suit for libel with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Milan following a request to take action against Soldera.

“We consider the lawsuit a necessary course of action to safeguard the image of the winemakers, of Brunello wine and of the entire territory of Montalcino,” said Fabrizio Bindocci, chairman of the Consorzio.  “We feel deeply offended and damaged by these and other negative statements on the Consorzio and the winemakers made by Mr. Soldera following the event that struck him.”  Bindocci said it was incomprehensible that Soldera had labeled as “fraud” something intended as a “symbolic gesture of solidarity”.

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