Winery accused of false labelling

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The NZ Herald reported that a South Island wine company, its winemaker and ex-directors have been accused of falsifying vintage and origin details on sauvignon blanc and pinot noir from Marlborough and Waipara from the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages.

A total of 156 charges has been laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) against Southern Boundary Wines Ltd and its vineyard manager and winemaker Scott Charles Berry, winemaker Rebecca Junell Cope and operations/export manager Andrew Ronald Moore. Berry and Moore were directors of Southern Boundary Wines Ltd until they resigned in January.

The NZ Herald revealed that the charges included various allegations,

“… including labelling wine as a certain vintage when in fact the grapes came from another year, false statements over where the wines came from, selling blended wines as coming from one vineyard, and trying to destroy or hide winemaking records.”

“Wines in question have allegedly been exported to the UK, Japan, Fiji, Thailand, and Australia.”

Acting CEO for NZ Winegrowers, Jeffrey Clarke, responded to the charges by saying,

“New Zealand wineries and grape growers are committed to the highest standards of product integrity and quality, and there are very good systems in place in New Zealand to ensure this. The investigation proves the systems in place work and it is appropriate that this matter is before the courts.”

“The New Zealand wine industry is highly regarded around the world and we cannot let the alleged actions of one winery damage a reputation that we have all worked so hard to build”, said Mr Clarke.

One thought on “Winery accused of false labelling”

  1. John Lord says:

    As an enthusiastic amateur wine lover, I cannot comment on the judging or quality. Gold medals I believe do confuse the general public, but perhaps the problem is not that they were given, but there is no obvious reason for what reason on the label. Is it not time for us to mandate that if awards are shown/claimed, then the category needs to appear on the label also. After all, we are trying to educate and influence the consumer, not the expert who knows why, or knows where to go to find the answer.. John L

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