Hardy’s, Australia’s biggest wine producer, is spending AUS$30m on expanding its Berri winery in South Australia’s Riverland region over the next three years.

From the next vintage the 90 year-old Renmano winery, Hardy’s other big concern in Riverland, will be used solely for storage and cellar door sales.

Hardy’s managing director David Woods could not guarantee no job losses, but said consolidation would make Hardy’s ‘quicker, faster, leaner, better than our competitors around the world.’

The move safeguards over 250 existing jobs at Berri estates and around 50 workers will relocate from the Renmano to the Berri winery by the next vintage.

The total crush at Berri is expected to grow from 163,000 tonnes this year, to 200,000 tonnes by 2005. Hardy’s second largest winery, the Stanley winery in Sunraysia Victoria, will be unaffected by the changes.

In the past decade Hardy’s sales have grown from A$222m to A$699m. Eighty percent of production now comes from the warm climate regions in the Riverland and Sunraysia.

Written by Jack Martin