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Mountford Estate winemaker CP Lin quits

Winemaker CP Lin is understood to have left New Zealand's Mountford Estate after 16 years due to a dispute with the owners.

Photo: CP Lin, credit: Kevin Judd/Cephas

Lin told several friends of his move late last week. One source, who spoke to Decanter.com on condition of anonymity, received a message from the winemaker stating that with ‘great regret’ he has left Mountford.

According to the source, the message criticised the owners for ‘focusing 100% on profit’ to the detriment of wine quality – a point the owners strongly dispute.

In his message, Lin also said ‘he would love to return and continue his work but only under new management’. He added that he is not putting his name to anything not currently in bottle.

In an email to Decanter.com, Mountford owners Kees Zeestraten and Kathryn Ryan said, ‘as owners we have done our utmost to work with Mr Lin. In recent weeks we sought advice to find a workable solution to C.P. Lin’s issues, offering several alternatives, yet the options appear not to be acceptable nor to appease Mr Lin.
‘Subsequently after a long working relationship and our endeavours to reach a mutually suitable arrangement, it was extremely disappointing to learn of Mr Lin’s withdrawal from discussions via his public announcement. Mr Lin has not notified us of his intentions to terminate his consultancy.’

They said they remain committed for the long-term and will ‘continue to focus on growing and making premium and high quality wines’.

Mountford produces small quantities of Chardonnay, Sauvigon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Noir from its 10ha in Waipara, North Canterbury.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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