24 Jun 2009

Wine company tells grapegrowers cuts ahead

12:45 pm on 24 June 2009

Grapegrowers in the Gisborne region face an uncertain future with a decision by New Zealand's largest wine company to reduce the tonnage of grapes it buys.

Pernod Ricard has advised growers not to prune their vines this winter until it talks with them next week about its future plans.

Gisborne Winegrowers President John Clarke says it's a real shock for chardonnay growers especially, who will be the worst affected.

He says two other companies have also indicated they plan to reduce the tonnage of grapes they buy from Gisborne growers.

The cuts could reduce production by 5000 - 6000 tonnes.

One of the options is compensating growers for their crops over the next two years, but not actually crushing the grapes.