All wines that carry this label are subject to two strict criteria: they have to be sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area – Bannockburn, south of the Kawarau River – and they are to be managed by the Mt Difficulty viticulture team. The reasons for these self-imposed constraints are that we believe this to be an area with very special qualities for growing grapes, and that the management of the vineyard is reflected in the quality of the ultimate product.
Colour: Light silvery gold
Nose: The warm vintage of 2013 has resulted in aromas of white peach and pear blossom mingled with underlying crisp red apple notes.
Palate: The palate displays ripe succulent peach notes, while the mid palate is full, creamy and well textured. The wine has a rich, spice infused finish. Mt Difficulty Estate Pinot Gris will improve for 3-6 years given optimal vintage and cellaring conditions.
Grape Varieties: 100% Pinot Gris
Awards: Silver – International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015; Blue-Gold & Top 100 – Sydney International Wine Competition 2015
History of Mount Difficulty
Our story begins in the early 1990’s with ‘The Gang Of Four’ – the owners of five newly-planted vineyards in Bannockburn. Upon a handshake they decided to work together to produce wine under one label. This handshake bound the owners of Molyneux, Mansons Farm, Verboeket Estate and Full Circle until 2004 when Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd was officially formed, and the majority of the individual vineyards passed into the ownership of the company. The hardest part for the Gang of Four was in choosing a name for the label.
Our first vintage was produced in 1998 and was a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, created under the Mt Difficulty label. Prior to this, fruit had been sold to Gibbston Valley or Chard Farm. Matt Dicey came on board to help build Mt Difficulty a winery in 1998, and stayed on as head winemaker. In 2018 he completed his 20th vintage with us, expanding to aromatic white varieties and single vineyard expressions, yet always retaining Mt Difficulty’s signature style.
Today we are comprised of many vineyards, spanning Central Otago from Gibbston, to Lowburn Valley, to Bendigo, with our home still under the mountain at Bannockburn. Central Otago provides New Zealand’s only ‘continental’ style climate combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. Yet we continue to push the limits of what we are capable of, with experimental plantings of Chenin Blanc and Syrah.