11 Dec 2018

Yealands Estate fined $400k over wine exports

1:46 pm on 11 December 2018

A breach of the EU's rules around sweetening wine has seen Yealands Estate Wines sentenced over its wine exports to Europe.

Grapes at Yealands Estate growing in the Marlborough sunshine, helped by classical music piped across the vineyard.

The Yealands Estate in Marlborough. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

The Marlborough winery company has been fined $400,000 for making false statements about its wine exports between 2012 and 2015.

The company earlier pleaded guilty in the Blenheim District Court to charges laid by the Ministry of Primary Industries.

The company, which is now under new ownership, said it had been found legally responsible for the actions of former staff members who handled wine exports to Europe.

The charges related to European Union rules about how wine can be sweetened, and were laid following an MPI audit.

Chief executive Adrian Garforth said the company took immediate action to remedy the issues well before any charges were laid.