I just received a press release issued by the Brunello consortium informing recipients that the bottlers and growers association “has decided” to file a lawsuit against Gianfranco Soldera accusing him of “defamation.”
According to its authors, the consortium has also moved to “expel” him. Even with his letter of resignation and his public announcement in late March that he had sent the letter to the body’s president, he would have remained a member until 2015 in any case, write the authors.
The defamation charge is based on an interview with Soldera published on March 26 in the Italian national daily Corriere della Sera in which Soldera alleged that consortium members had encouraged him to commit fraud when they offered to give him wine (in the aftermath of the December 2012 vandalism that purportedly destroyed six vintages of Soldera’s wine).
The charge of defamation is based on Soldera’s statement that [the consortium had] “wanted to donate wine to me. I was supposed to bottle it as if it were mine, without knowing where it came from. [This was] an unacceptable and offensive proposal, a swindling [fraud] of the consumer.”
Consortium president Fabrizio Bindocci is quoted in the press release: “We feel that the lawsuit is a necessary move,” he says, “to safeguard the public image of winemakers, Brunello, and the Montalcino territory. We were deeply offended and hurt by this and other negative claims made by Soldera regarding the Consortium.”