New Zealand Winegrowers has been advised that MPI has laid charges against Southern Boundary Wines Limited, former directors Andrew Moore and Scott Berry, and winemaker Rebecca Cope, alleging breaches of the Wine Act and the Crimes Act.
The allegations include mislabelling of wine from vintages 2012 and 2013, and the falsification of records. Although the exact quantity of affected wines is not known, it is believed to be a tiny fraction of the national harvest in each of the two affected years.
It is important to note that this is a mislabelling and record-keeping issue rather than a health and safety issue – all wine sold was perfectly safe to consumers.
“We have been informed about the matter and the allegations and we know that MPI has been investigating carefully for some time,” said Jeffrey Clarke, New Zealand Winegrowers acting CEO.
“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.”
New Zealand Winegrowers is concerned about the allegations and given the importance of label integrity, support the process.
“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.