In 1991, Buffy and Michael Eaton chose to establish the Mountford Vineyard on the steep hillside of eastern Waipara for its elevation and active limestone soils. The highly revered CP Lin—who is legally blind—impressed Michael with his winemaking skills and incredible sense of smell. The wines he produced would see the vineyard gain a cult following in New Zealand.
In 2003, Takahiro Koyama went to study Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University, just outside of Christchurch. While studying, he secured a role as a cellar hand at Mountford under CP Lin. Three years later, upon graduating from Lincoln University; CP Lin made Takahiro Mountford’s assistant winemaker. Takahiro held this role until 2012 when he left to concentrate on his Koyama Wines brand that he founded while at Mountford three year earlier in 2009.
When the opportunity arose for Koyama Wines to purchase the Mountford vineyard in 2017, Takahiro jumped at the chance. An opportunity to honour his mentor and continue CP Lin’s legacy of crafting beautiful, expressive wines was too good to pass up. This is the first time these wines have been imported into Australia. All of us at Saint Wine are excited, and more than a little proud, to be able to offer these incredible Takahiro Koyama wines.
Working closely with growers, Takahiro takes a low impact approach. His attention to detail means spray regimes in the vineyards are designed to build the health of the vines and the soil with fermented fish fertilizers and organic inputs. Rigorous canopy management is employed to keep the constant spring and summer growth open and light. This approach enlists the powerful nor-westers and North Canterbury sun to keep the vines naturally disease-free.