19 Feb 2011

Growers say small wineries will suffer under bill

8:45 am on 19 February 2011

The New Zealand Winegrowers organisation says hundreds of small wineries will suffer financial hardship under the Government's Alcohol Reform Bill.

Chief executive Philip Gregan says the legislation treats winery cellar door and mail order sales the same as retail liquor outlets, and it could cost them thousands of dollars a year to comply.

He says the bill introduces a whole new level of regulation for smaller wineries, adding in more cost for very little benefit.

He says many of the more than 600 small wineries in the organisation have sales averaging about 10 cases of wine a week through all avenues into the domestic market.

Mr Gregan says cellar door sales should be given an exemption.

Submissions on the bill closed on Friday.