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Published:  23 July, 2008

Financially critical

A disastrous grape-growing season has caused a Hastings winery to mix Chilean wine with one of its "Hawke's Bay" lines, according to a report in the New Zealand Herald. Award-winning CJ Pask has brought in Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, blending it with 5% New Zealand Semillon, for its Roy's Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2000. Winemaker-owner Kate Radburnd is reported as saying that buying in wine was "financially critical" to help the company through the season's shortfall of fruit. CJ Pask's grape production fell by nearly 80% this year after its Gimblett Road vineyard - like many in Hawke's Bay - was hit by November frost. Radburnd said that CJ Pask would also have to buy in 2001 wine, including reds, preferably from a New Zealand producer. She also said that CJ Pask had worked with the Wine Institute of New Zealand to ensure it met all its legal obligations in identifying the wine. She was keen to point out that, "We have been totally upfront with labelling."