30th April, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
A Hawke’s Bay winery has lost £90k worth of wine after vandals drained one of its tanks.
Red alert: Hawke’s Bay
Moana Park Winery near Napier was attacked last Friday night when its largest tank of Merlot was forced open and left to spill out onto the ground.
Owner and winemaker Dan Barker told reporters that the cost of the 6,000-litre loss amounted to £90k.
‘”It’s gutting to have all our hard work wasted like this.
“We’ve invested 12 months of growing, harvesting and then winemaking – it’s a lot of blood sweat and tears to just literally pour down the drain,” he said.
Wine on their hands: the spilt Merlot at Moana Park Winery
Barker added that the loss was particularly crushing as 2013 had been a “stellar” growing season.
“This is the best vintage I’ve ever seen in Hawke’s Bay in my time making wine here,” he said.
The Merlot was destined for a Japanese supermarket chain whose buyer was visiting the estate the morning the vandalism was discovered.
“It’s a container of wine not going to Japan now. They’ll have to find a replacement because we don’t have any more wine, so we may lose the contract,” Barker said.
Rather than a malicious act, Barker put the damage down to “senseless” vandalism.
He believes someone aiming to steal a few litres of the wine misjudged the pressure in the tank.
“The valve has a lock, which means it couldn’t have be opened accidently. It’s a two-inch valve, so it’s going to knock you off your feet,” he said.
The incident had been reported to police and Barker is appealing to anyone with any information to come forward.