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Winegrowers assess quake damage

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/11/2016 Fiona Rotherham

An estimated 20 per cent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country's largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake.

New Zealand Winegrowers has just completed a survey of the earthquake impact on its members and chief executive Philip Gregan said the wine loss experienced accounts for only a little over 2 per cent of Marlborough's total annual production.

"While this is frustrating, this is not a major concern as vintage 2016 was a near record one," he said. "This means there is plenty of wine available to continue our market growth."

Of more concern is the damage to 20 per cent of storage tanks through that number could change as the damage assessment continues.

Wineries are seeing to repair or replace the tanks they need to have in working condition for vintage 2017 and Gregan said the repair process was likely to continue for many months.

"We have been liaising with affected wineries, engineers, tank manufacturers, the government and the Marlborough District Council to ensure that are no unnecessary impediments to that process proceeding as quickly and safely as possible," he said.

Marlborough produces over 200 million litres of wine a year, of which 80 per cent is exported.

Gregan said he wasn't aware of any issues affecting the transport of wine out of the region.

Earlier on Tuesday listed winemaker Delegat advised the sharemarket that it had suffered no significant damage to buildings, tank storage facilities or its winemaking and viticulture infrastructure based on visual inspections after the quake.

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