Winemaker who drained rival’s tanks sentenced

A Barossa Valley winemaker who last month admitted to destroying more than AUS$60,000 of Shiraz and Chardonnay by draining the tanks of a rival winemaker has been sentenced.

Trevor Jones, 59, was first charged with criminal trespass and property damage at Kellermeister Wines in Lyndoch in South Australia’s Barossa Valley in 2015, following the alleged incident in February.

Jones was accused of opening the taps on four tanks of Chardonnay and Shiraz on Sunday, 22 February, at the winery, which Jones’ parents had founded in 1976. The winery was sold to Mark Pearce in 2012 after Ralph Jones retired. Trevor Jones had previously worked at the winery but left to start Trevor Jones Fine Wines, also in Lyndoch, in 2010.

In October, Jones entered a plea of guilty to two counts of damaging property at Kellermeister Wines at Lyndoch in February 2015 ahead of proceedings in Adelaide’s District Court. The prosecution dropped the remaining three charges.

This week, Judge Jane Schammer jailed Jones for three years and seven months with a non-parole period of 18 months, but both terms were suspended for two years.

Schammer said the 60-year-old’s offending had been sparked by a breakdown in the relationship with his father, who had previously owned the winery. Jones had also worked at Kellermeister as a winemaker before being sacked in 2010.

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