'Wake-up call' for industry
Significant damage to several wineries and cellar doors has been reported after Friday's earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.
Damage appeared to be widespread, including Yealands Winery near the earthquakes' epicentre, Indevin, Giesens, Saint Clair Family Estate and South Pacific Cellars in Riverlands, and further afield at Lawson's Dry Hills and Villa Maria.
Lawson's Dry Hills general manager Shaun Barnsley said yesterday the violent quakes in the past month had been a wake-up call for the industry.
He had commissioned engineers to check their winery after the 6.5 magnitude quake last month, and had strengthened the legs on eight of their tanks as a result.
The work had been completed just two days before Friday's violent 6.6 quake, which bent and buckled the legs of one of their tanks, "bringing it to its knees", Mr Barnsley said.
The crippled tank was not one that had been earthquake-strengthened.
"Fortunately we were able to salvage most production, which is the most critical thing. The important thing is to learn from our experiences and get more engineering advice on what we need to do to mitigate the risk."
The most concerning aspect was the cost of repairs would largely be borne by business owners, because of the high excess thresholds set by insurance companies, he said.
"I imagine the bulk of the cost will be felt by wineries rather than insurance companies, because the excess is so high, you'd need a total write-off to make it worth while."
South Pacific Cellars winery manager Graeme Paul said engineers had been through on Monday and yesterday to assess the damage at the Riverlands Industrial Estate winery.
Some tanks had ruptured in the shaking, or their legs had buckled and twisted, and would need to be repaired and strengthened to prevent damage in the event of future shakes, he said.
Staff had saved most of the wine by pumping it into spare tanks, and only a very small amount was lost.
- The Marlborough Express