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Pernod Ricard wineries damaged in earthquake

Published:  23 July, 2008

NEW ZEALAND: An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit three wineries owned by Pernod Ricard New Zealand on Dec 20.

The wineries in Gisborne, formally Montana Wines, suffered damage but all staff are said to be safe.

The earthquake was centred under the sea 50km southeast of Gisborne.

"At this stage it is still too early to determine the full extent of the damage, however the vineyards themselves look to be unaffected by the earthquake," Pernod said in a statement.

Fabian Partigliani, managing director for Pernod Ricard New Zealand, added: "Our first priority last night was the safety of our staff working onsite, whom are all safe.

"We do know there has been some wine losses and tank damage. With 450 tanks over three winery locations, our team are carefully working their way through each site, both assessing the extent of the earthquake damage but more importantly ensuring the site is secure."

"Our major incident planning procedures have been carried out extremely well over the last 12 hours and the extensive experience of our Gisborne team has ensured that safety has remained our top priority and wine losses have been kept to a minimum."