Zin House and Lowe Wines future being questioned

Kim Currie, a former executive officer of Brand Orange, and her husband David Lowe have used social media and established a GoFundMe page to raise awareness of their situation and attract investment.
Kim Currie, a former executive officer of Brand Orange, and her husband David Lowe have used social media and established a GoFundMe page to raise awareness of their situation and attract investment.

The future of Lowe Wineries and The Zin House is uncertain as owners, David Lowe and Kim Currie face losing the farm and business within the next few days in an ongoing dispute with their business partner. 

Mr Lowe, Ms Currie and their business partner have been through mediation to try and resolve the disputes over the mortgage, in accordance with the Farm Debt Mediation Act. 

However, following the mediation a section 11 certificate has been issued, and the partner has appointed receivers for the winery. 

Mr Lowe and Ms Currie have used social media and established a GoFundMe page to raise awareness of their situation and attract investment. 

“The most useful part (of the GoFundMe page) is that it is building awareness, and off the back of that we have received a lot of private support,” Ms Currie, a former executive officer of Brand Orange, said. 

“It is our belief that if we are not in a position to fund a financial resolution by this weekend then it will be too late to recover the situation. 

“And we are close to achieving that, but we are not there yet,” Ms Currie said. 

The entrance to Lowe Wines.

The entrance to Lowe Wines.

In a statement issued to the media, Mr Lowe said it was "making it almost impossible for them to raise the necessary funds through normal means. 

“The two businesses are financially successful and have added value to the food and wine culture of the region.

“We have received great moral support from Mudgee and there is a real concern of the potential loss of these businesses on this thriving community. 

“We have been working tirelessly over a long period of time to come to an agreement with this business partner so that they can walk away with what is owed. The previous loan offers we have are conditional on us also being in sole control of the business; a ‘Catch 22’,” he said. 

Their business partner told the Mudgee Guardian it was ‘disappointing’ things had worked out this way.

"It's really disappointing for David and Kim that it has worked out this way. 

"We have been negotiating, but they have refused to make an offer that is acceptable. 

"I lent them money, and if I hadn't they wouldn't be here at the moment. They would have folded in 2011.

"It's a very emotional time.

"(The people that work here) are the most wonderful people, they are enthusiastic and fully committed to making this work and to working towards this being a central point in the region." 

The Zine House in Mudgee.

The Zine House in Mudgee.

Lowe Wines, along with the organic vineyard and ‘hatted’ restaurant The Zin House resides on the property which has been in the Lowe family since 1823. 

Several private investors have approached David and Kim to discuss supporting the business financially. The loans will be secured against the property, with an option to convert to investment in the wine making business at a later stage. 

“It’s a very stressful time for David and I and the family, but we are incredibly bouyed by support received from the community,” Ms Currie said.  

“The winery and restaurant are both successful businesses. But I’m only going to operate the Zin House here if David is the owner. Otherwise I’ll relocate and open elsewhere.” 

The Zin House is a three-times hatted restaurant in the SMH Good Food Guide Award.