Water testing

Winery Water Testing

Testing to determine whether the water used in a winery complies with the Wine Act 2003.

About this Testing

If you make or package wine (grape wine, fruit or vegetable wine, cider and mead) for trade or export, then you need to ensure the water used is of "suitable quality", i.e. that it complies with the Wine Act 2003. There are two criteria that should be tested for “clean water” are;


MPI Limit



<1 in 100mL sample

May be found in shallow bore water, or if water supply is not secure


< 5 NTU

High turbidity means that particles are present in the water. The particles may be indicative of dissolved species precipitating out of solution (e.g. oxidised iron), or high organic particulates.

Note that own-supply water (water supplied by the winemaker such as tank water, bore water, river water) must be tested every year to determine whether it meets the criteria for clean water. Water obtained from town supply, or from a third party who meets requirements of the Health Act 1956, is considered to be ‘clean water’ and does not need to be tested.

Taking a Sample

When taking the sample, it is very important to follow the instructions provided, especially for the E.coli test. This requires a sterile container (square plastic 400mL) and the tap needs to be sterilised to make sure that no contamination occurs. Also note that we need the samples back with 24 hours and less than 10°C, otherwise the results will not be valid. For clients who are not within easy driving distance from Hamilton or Christchurch, we suggest taking your sample in the early afternoon and sending it overnight to the laboratory.

Sampling equipment:

Request a Winery Water Kit from the Laboratory. It contains 2 sample containers which are required for one test, i.e. both containers should all be filled from the same sampling point, not from 2 different points

Guides and Supporting Information

Contact Us

Freephone 0508 HILL LAB (44 555 22) or email Env.CSM@hill-labs.co.nz