Wine valued at $165,000 - gone

23:40, Apr 29 2013
Moana Park - spilled wine
WASTED WINE: Only puddles remain of the Moana Park merlot.

A Hawke’s Bay winery has lost thousands of litres of premium quality merlot after vandals drained one of its tanks.

Staff arrived at Moana Park Winery in Puketapu, near Napier, on Saturday morning to find their largest tank of merlot had been forcibly opened and the contents left spilling out on the ground overnight.

Owner Dan Barker estimated around $165,000 in premium Hawke’s Bay merlot wine. 

‘‘It is gutting to have all our hard work just wasted like this.  I mean we’ve invested 12 months of growing, harvesting and then winemaking – it’s a lot of blood sweat and tears to just literally pour down the drain,’’ Mr Barker said.

2013 had been ‘‘a stellar growing season, and we were looking forward to that merlot being a very nice example of this once in a lifetime season.” 

“It doesn’t appear to be a malicious act – just plain senseless vandalism... They didn’t even drink it,” he said.

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Mr Barker is appealing to anyone with any information on the vandalism to come forward.

The vandalism occurred between midnight Friday and 7am Saturday.

A winery is cleaning up the mess after vandals damaged equipment and wasted more than $160,000 worth of merlot.

The Dominion Post