Wine spat: Italy heir accuses Sting of slander, flat apology

Aug 31, 2021, 8:52 AM | Updated: 9:47 am

MILAN (AP) — The heir of a late duke who sold Sting his Tuscan winery 25 years ago says the singer has hit a flat note with a lame apology for comments the family deems slanderous.

The juicy celebrity dispute has spilled onto the pages of Italian newspapers. Sting told the weekly magazine “Sette” on Aug. 13 that he was persuaded into buying the Palagio winery near Florence in 1997 after tasting an “excellent” glass of red wine offered by the owner, Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati di San Clemente. The singer, however, said it later turned out that the wine was a Barolo from Italy’s Piedmont region, and not a local Tuscan Chianti at all.

The magazine labeled the move “a hoax” and claimed the singer “had been tricked” into the purchase.

Sting, in the interview, said he only realized the truth about the wine’s origins after he had purchased the Palagio estate, including its vineyards, and he noticed guests pouring the Palagio red into the bushes rather than drinking it. He said he and his wife became determined to “avenge” themselves by producing “an excellent wine also from the Palagio vineyards.”

The 45-year-old son of the duke, who died in 2012 at 86, wrote a long, stinging rebuke to Sting’s accusations, calling them “slander, poisonous and completely false.”

Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati said it would have been completely out of character for his father to have passed off Barolo for Chianti, and said Sting’s use of the interview and the anecdote to promote a new organic pizzeria on the estate was “in poor taste.”

In his letter, Velluti Zati said Sting’s allegations “not only do not respond to the truth, they are highly damaging to the memory of my father and to my reputation.”

Sting responded with a letter on Aug. 24, which was obtained by The Associated Press, offering his “sincere and unequivocal apologies,” and acknowledging that the story “as reported was disrespectful to the memory of your distinguished father.”

Sting called the duke “an honorable man, who never misled me,” and said the anecdote was instead self-deprecating, highlighting the fact that 25 years ago he was unable “to distinguish a Barolo from a bar of soap.”

Velluti Zati told the AP on Tuesday that the apology was a “necessary act” from the singer that was hardly convincing. He has not decided yet whether to take any further action.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Sheriff accused of pressuring candidates to drop races

TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A third candidate for public office has come to forward to say a sheriff on Florida’s Space Coast offered help in getting a job in exchange for leaving a race and backing his favored candidate. Kimberly Musselman, an assistant state attorney in Brevard County, told Florida Today she was asked by […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Sheriff: Deputies fatally shot off-duty federal officer

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Deputies in the Florida Keys fatally shot an off-duty federal law enforcement officer Wednesday morning in what appears to be a “suicide by cop,” officials said. Lane Morgan Caviness, 48, was killed at a Key Largo home following reports of an intoxicated, armed suicidal man, a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office […]
14 hours ago
FILE - Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, i...
Associated Press

‘Self-professed’ white supremacist gets jail for Jan. 6 riot

A Maryland man described by the FBI as a “self-professed” white supremacist was sentenced on Wednesday to four months of incarceration for storming the U.S. Capitol while wearing a court-mandated device that tracked his movements, court records show. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly also sentenced Bryan Betancur to one year of supervised release after his […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

Disney+ counts 221M streaming subscribers, topping Netflix

Disney said Wednesday it added 14.4 million subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service in the April-June fiscal quarter, putting it just ahead of Netflix in the streaming wars with about 221 million total streaming subscriptions. Netflix ended June with 220.7 million subscribers after losing nearly 1 million subscribers in the past quarter. Disney’s growing streaming […]
14 hours ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Wednesday 8/10/2022

Stocks are closing at three-month highs on Wall Street as investors cheered a report showing inflation cooled more than expected in July. The S&P 500 jumped 2.1% Wednesday on expectations that slower inflation will mean the Federal Reserve won’t hike interest rates as much as feared. Technology stocks, cryptocurrencies and other investments among the year’s […]
14 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Wine spat: Italy heir accuses Sting of slander, flat apology