Vineyard Owned by Murder Victim has been Purchased

A Southland dairy farming couple with a passion for Central Otago have purchased a vineyard owned by a slain Auckland woman.

Northern Southland dairy farmer Tony Cleland confirmed to the Otago Daily Times he and his wife Alison had purchased Carrick Winery, in Bannockburn. The Bannockburn winery was previously owned by Carrick Wines Ltd which was one of slain 55-year-old Elizabeth Zhong's businesses.

Zhong was found dead in the boot of her car in November, near her East Auckland house, police are still investigating.

The Carrick Wines Ltd business owed more than $12 million at the time it went into receivership after her death in November.

"We were looking for a new challenge and we have always liked Carrick and the setting and the wine, the place and the people,” said Tony Cleland, adding that he and his wife had a passion for the region and would move to the property.

Cleland also said he would keep all the staff who had gone through a great deal of uncertainty through the sale and receivership process.

Carrick Wines Ltd had been for sale for about 18 months before Zhong's death.