Lowe fights to save family business

David Lowe is confident he can save his business. (Photo: Lowe Wines)

Mudgee winemaker David Lowe is confident he can save his business, despite his business partner calling in the receivers. Lowe was facing the loss of the farming property ‘Tinja’ near Mudgee that his family have owned for six generations, since the 1830s, as well as his vineyard, winery and wine business that he has developed over the last 30 years, Lowe Wine, and the restaurant The Zin House that his wife Kim Currie has developed into one of the region’s most admired. Currie wrote a harrowing Facebook post on April 4, detailing the couple’s woes.

Lowe was facing the loss of the farming property ‘Tinja’ near Mudgee that his family have owned for six generations.A flood of support rolled in from friends, industry associates and supporters, especially the Mudgee community which could not bear the thought of a Mudgee wine industry without David Lowe. Lowe is not only a winemaker of note but a community-minded man who has given generously of his time to the wine industry and community organisations.

Currie is well-known as a restaurateur in Orange and Mudgee and The Zin House (named after Lowe’s flagship zinfandel wine) is one of the best-regarded restaurants in country NSW. Before long there were pledges of money, and Currie was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food on April 10 saying that by selling some land and with help, the required AUD $2.5 million was down to AUD $1.5 million.

Lowe told me later that day that he was by then ‘certain’ they would achieve their aim of saving the business.

“I started the week without much hope, and then day by day I was becoming more confident; now I’m certain we will be able to stay on,” he told me.

As part of the plan to raise the remainder, a crowdfunding effort has been launched, with a target of AUD $500,000.

Currie’s post said the relationship with an unnamed investor had ‘soured’, and following drawn-out negotiations, including mediation,

“yesterday the partner was issued a Section 11 allowing him to resume the land, and today he has put the receivers into the winery ‘to protect his interests’.”

She said, “Several million dollars of assets will have been picked up for half their worth.”

Lowe admitted to me that he was not entirely blameless, and had been foolish to sign his name to certain papers. He also said both the restaurant and winery were strongly viable businesses.

Anyone wanting to help should email Kim at kim@kimcurrie.com.au.

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