Marlborough winery Yealands is met 400.000 Nieuw Zeelandse dollars beboet op basis van een vijfvoudige aanklacht over het toevoegen van suiker aan exportwijn die voor Europa was bestemd. De boekhouding bleek niet correct en er was ook sprake van valse verklaringen. Thedrinksbusiness meldt:
Yealands Wine Estate, together with its former owner, former general manager and former chief winemaker, have been fined following an investigation by The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Appearing in Blenheim District Court today, the wine estate pleaded guilty to five charges laid at its door under the Wine Act 2003, relating to keeping inaccurate internal wine records and making false statements in export applications.
The charges relate to the export of wines to the EU between 2012 and 2015, and according to the winery, they were not sold under Yealands brands.
Yealands stated in a press release following the ruling that such practices “were usual and proper for most countries” but not for wines entering the EU.
The MPI was tipped-off by a former employee who had initially raised the matter internally. After conducting an audit, it found inaccurate records were kept in relation to 6.6 million litres of wine, of which around 3.8 million litres were exported to the EU.
On top of the $400,000 fine, the former general manager of winery operations, Jeff Fyfe, and the former chief winemaker, Tamra Kelly-Washington, have both been fined $35,000, while the estate’s former owner, Peter Yealands, was fined $30,000.
Former owner of Yealands Wine Estate, Peter Yealands, has been fined $30,000.
It was stated in court that Peter Yealands was made aware of the practices but made no attempt to stop them from taking place. His lawyer, Rachael Reed QC, told New Zealand media that “he takes responsibility for that. He deeply regrets not stopping what was going on”.