Oregan-based winery Willamette Valley Vineyards posted a fall in third-quarter profits, despite only a slight drop in sales.

Net income for the three months to 30 September slid to US$243,629, compared to $522,738 for the comparable period last year, Williamette said today (17 November).

Sales dipped by 4.6% to $4m, due to the outage of three key Pinot Noir products, the firm said.

Operating income for the period also fell from $779,369 last year, to $461,705 for the three quarter period this year.

The company said profits were affected by a "substantial" one-time write down of Bacchus inventory and an increase in accounting, legal, banking and other administrative expenses.

During the quarter the winery acquired three new vineyard sites adjacent to its current operations.