The 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.
SupermarketNews spoke to the team about the winery and its award-winning wines.
What characteristics of your wine are influenced by the physical landscape of your winery?
“We feel that the shape of our wines are reflective of the land that informs the grapes. By this we mean that the geological composition and age of our soils, the topography of the land all have a bearing on the way that the wine presents itself in the glass.”
What is one of the most rewarding things about winemaking?
“Being able to reflect on what you did both right and wrong and how you can use this to improve what you do next time around.”
What was important in making this award-winning wine?
“Trying to understand what the vintage was delivering in terms of flavours, acidity, interest and then allowing that to inform where we were doing with our winemaking.”
“Fantastic with fusion food that combines different flavour elements. This wine has enough aromatic interest and texture as well as a touch of sweetness that really allows it to work well with Fusion cooking.”
How long can you shelf your winning bottle of wine for?
“We like to say hold for 2-4 years for the freshest style of drinking – but you can hold and be rewarded for a further 4 years, more richness and texture. Yum.”
How would you describe this wine to someone who's never had this grape varietal/blend before?
“Pinot Gris is deliciously smashable! Nectarine and Rock Melon jump out of the glass, ripe and textured. Always calls for another glass….”
If you could do a wine bottle swap with any winery in NZ or the world, which winery and wine would it be with?
“Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos St Urbain – the home of seriously good Pinot Gris (if it’s not from NZ!)”
Founders: Mt. Difficulty was founded when the owners of five vineyards in Bannockburn, decided to produce wine under a single label.
Current Owner: Foley Wines
Winemaker: Matt Dicey
Location: Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Wine varietals produced: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Rosé and Chardonnay.