View all News

Farro Wine Hero: Mt Difficulty

Farro Wine Hero: Mt Difficulty

Farro Wine Hero: Mt Difficulty

Bannockburn, Central Otago

Steeped in the history of the captivating Bannockburn terroir, Mt Difficulty’s award-winning wines are renowned world-wide for their bold complexity and inherent sense of place.

The Mt Difficulty story began in the early 1990s, when the owners of five newly-planted Bannockburn vineyards – known as the Gang of Four – came together to produce wine under one label. They settled on Mt. Difficulty, named after the striking mountain that towers above the Kawarau Gorge.

The first vintage was produced in 1998 with the help of Matt Dicey, who would go on to produce a further twenty vintages as Chief Winemaker. It was made up of a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay, two stand-out drops that promptly put Mt Difficulty on the map by winning Gold and Silver medals at the 1999 Air NZ Wine Awards.

As a result of that early planting, the winery is now home to some of the oldest vineyards in Bannockburn, with vine age lending intriguing complexity and concentration to their Pinot Noirs. New plantings joined the line-up over the years that followed and today, Mt Difficulty comprises vineyards all over Central Otago, from Gibbston, to Lowburn Valley, to Bendigo.

The next major change came in 2004, when Mt Difficulty launched Roaring Meg as a second label. An exceptionally abundant harvest gave Matt and his team the scope to experiment with a different style; a Pinot Noir first, with a Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc to follow. Fruit-driven and easy-drinking, the Roaring Meg wines struck a chord with the public and the label has been a mainstay at Mt Difficulty ever since.

The next era is set to be defined by the new Chief Winemaker, Greg Lane, who, having been named 2018’s Young New Zealand Winemaker of the Year, joined the Mt Difficulty family in 2021. 

‘I’ve long admired the wines of Mt Difficulty,’ says Greg. ‘Matt and the team have established these wines as true benchmarks of Central Otago, and indeed new world Pinot Noir, so the opportunity to come on board and continue the story is both humbling and exciting. I can’t wait to get stuck in.’

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Chardonnay: 
Supple, with flavours of nectarine and citrus, this soft, textured Chardonnay is generous and giving, with a bold finish of white peach.

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir:
A dark, earthy, and engaging Pinot Noir, rich with lovely violet aromas and a bold palate of blackcurrant and black cherry.

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Gris:
With aromas of peach, a touch of pear, and a backdrop of white jasmine, this Pinot Gris is full and creamy, with a stone fruit-focused finish.

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir:
Opening with luscious dark cherry, dried herbs, and a touch of spice, this fine-textured Pinot Noir dwells silkily on the palate.

Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling:
This medium-dry Riesling is filled with lushness and intrigue, with notes of tangerine, apricot and jasmine white florals.

Find the Mt Difficulty Range in our alcohol section, or shop the range online here.