2 May 2011

Wine co-op 'makes good progress'

1:42 pm on 2 May 2011

A Gisborne-based wine cooperative says it's made good progress in its first 18 months of operations though it has been a challenge to find markets for its grapes and wine.

GroCo has 30 grower-shareholders, most of whom lost their supply contracts in 2009 when two major wine companies cut back their Gisborne operations.

GroCo general manager Warwick Bruce says the company has sold more than 60% of the wine produced from its 2010 vintage, and 500 tonnes of grapes.

He says returns to growers are lower than the company had hoped, at just over the going rate for grapes, but he says selling and developing markets has been difficult.

Mr Bruce says Chardonnay makes up more than half of the cooperative's vintage of between 1800 and 2200 tonnes.

Winemaking is being carried out under the technical direction of Kim Crawford and Anita Ewart-Croy.