The boutique Tasmanian winery Pipers Brook Vineyard has issued a profit warning after what it said were unusually low yields for the 2002 vintage. It is now forecasting a loss for the year to June 30, 2002.

The company said its vineyard operating segment was expected to lose A$650,000 for the year, compared to the previous year's operating profit of A$1.7m.

It said the loss came before merger and acquisition costs.
 
"The seasonal impact that caused the poor vintage crop was a record cool December which affected flower pollination," Pipers Brook said.

"The positive outcome of the small vintage is the exceptional quality for pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris grape varieties."