Wine Testing

Wine Testing

Hill Labs offers you a suite of testing for every stage in wine production. We specialise in wine export analysis and have a number of other related analyses to meet all major winery testing needs.

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Grape Leaf Roll Virus Testing

Grapevine leaf roll-associated virus 2 and 3 are destructive viruses that can spread rapidly through vineyards by insect vectors, mealy bugs. The virus shortens the commercial lifespan of infected vines by causing deterioration in fruit quality and vine performance, particularly in red wine grapes.

The New Zealand Winegrowers Grafted Grapevine Standard requires participating nurseries to test their source material for Grapevine Leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) and only material that is free of the virus may be grafted and certified under the scheme Hill Labs offers both 2 and 3 grape leaf roll virus testing. Both virus are detected using an Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) method.

Plant Testing

Plant analysis is a valuable diagnostic and monitoring tool that should be used to complement soil analysis. A soil test shows what soil nutrients are available to the crop, while a plant test shows what nutrients the crop has actually taken up. In this way, plant tests provide a more reliable assessment of crop nutrient status. In the case of grapes, leaf/petiole tests at flowering provide a ‘snapshot’ of leaf nutrient levels and nutrient translocation at flowering. However, leaf and/or petiole testing at flowering cannot be used to predict the adequacy of nutrient supply during the fruit ripening period, where moisture stress is likely. In this instance, leaf blade testing at veraison is used to indicate vine nutrient status in the lead up to grape berry ripening.

Export Wine Testing

Hill Labs offers an extensive array of wine export testing options. Our wine export testing is covered by IANZ accreditation and we work closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure that we have the latest test requirements. 

Winery Water 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. The two criteria that should be tested for “clean water” are;

  • E. coli - MPI Limit <1 in 100mL sample. May be found in shallow bore water, or if water supply is not secure.
  • Turbidity - MPI Limit <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. 

Soil Testing

Soil tests measure only a fraction of the total pool of nutrients available to plants (immediate and long term) so it is important that standard New Zealand methods of sampling and soil analysis are used so the results are meaningful and can be related to plant growth under New Zealand conditions.

Juice Testing

The Basic Juice Panel includes tests conducted using chemistry methods but it does not detect microorganisms. This panel includes; Brix, pH, titratable acidity, yeast assimilable nitrogen and malic acid.

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Helpful links

Our team of testing experts has meticulously crafted these documents to offer recommendations tailored to your testing requirements.

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Christmas Hours 2023/2024

With the holiday season fast approaching, our hours will differ from usual. Click here to view our opening hours over the 2023/2024 festive season or they can also be found on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us on 0508 44 555 22 or email us at
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Hill News November 2023 - Update From Our CEO, Dr Jonno Hill

The cliché “change is the only constant” is as true now as it’s ever been. Within our changing climate, we have apparently just kicked over from La Nina to El Nino, which is likely to lead to more rain on the west coast and more drought on the east. Hats off to our farmers, who must do the best they can within unpredictable and sometimes severe weather events.
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Our Dedicated Beverage Testing Lab

In the heart of Marlborough, we have a dedicated beverage testing laboratory with local knowledgeable staff and precision equipment. Leading the charge in supporting the beverage industry is Vanessa Burrows - our Blenheim Site and Key Account Manager - who is backed by an experienced team that have built an extensive network of clients across New Zealand.
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What our customers have to say

"We've always found them to be responsive in getting results back and giving advice on problems we might be facing."

Andrew Hutchinson, Technical Manager, Turners & Growers

"We strongly recommend Hill Labs as a sound testing service provider to the honey industry."

Nick Walker, Technical Manager, Egmont Honey

"Their sample registration system has made things simple and seamless - collect, scan and send!"

Mathew Bannister, Compliance Manager, First Fresh New Zealand


As a New Zealand accredited laboratory by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ), Hill Labs' commitment to quality is tantamount to our overall operating philosophy. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work.