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Italian producer Fulvio Luca Bressan in hot water over online racist storm

Published:  30 August, 2013

Italian wine producer Fulvio Luca Bressan of Bressan Mastri Vinai has found himself in very hot water after making what have been seen as racially offensive comments last Friday on his Facebook page regarding the Italian integration minister Cécile Kyenge ? Italy's first African-Italian minister and the recent implementation of new policies affecting undocumented immigrants in the country.

Bressan's comments sparked a flood of posts to his Facebook page and the wine community, including bloggers from around the world, called for an immediate apology for what he had said.

Bressan did pull his comments down a few hours after posting in response to several bloggers and Facebook followers saying they would no longer purchase any of his wines in response to his comments. Bressan in attempt to defend his views, did post a response to the online community at 4:30 pm August 23, but not offer a formal apology.

To those that called for a boycott of his wine, Bressan said: " You claim that you will remove the wines from your list.... Such an honor!!!!.... So if you don't like me please DON'T buy my wines; remove me from the list and talk to your other bubble heads friends how bad I am; just don't use my wines and my vines for your personal interest, cowards! You are just a crowd of sheeps that accept everything and more."

Finally at 4:37 pm, Bressan did apologise:

"Dedicated to the ones that are looking to make scandal with news without paying attention to the facts: With calm mind I would like to explain my position:

"First I APOLOGIZE for the words used to that person... but I point out that they were dictated by Rage in seeing PUBLIC MONEY thrown away by this Minister, paid by Italians.

"It is true as well that if I see Minister Kyenge in distress in a treacherous sea, I would be the first one to jump to rescue her... but after I make sure she is safe I will reiterate what I personally believe of her doing...

"This to make clear that I am far away from any RACISM, to the point that in my close friends group there are black, Jews and other races.

"Again my words have been HEAVY but when someone acts with passion there is no middle way."

He goes on to explain the background to the political situation and the official comments by Minister Kyenge that had so annoyed him and which had forced him to make the comments he did.

Additionally, yesterday Bressan posted the following on his Facebook page:

"We are celebrating today the 50th anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King wonderful speech I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for my racist slur that have offended all black people. I was just upset with a person, to whom I apologise as well at a personal level for all the offensive and racist remarks, that I simply consider not fit for the task she is handling and doing a lot of damages to my country.

"Hope one day will be able to proof to all of you that I am deeply different from what you depict me. Because inside of me I am."

Click here to read Bressan's comments and online wine community's response.