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Wine Details

Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir Central Otago NZ 2005
Red fruits of the forest dominate the aroma and follow through with savoury & herbal notes on the palate.

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Mt Difficulty wines are named after the mountain that overlooks the winery and protecting the Bannockburn sub region of Otago from the cold weather. All of Mt Difficulty wines are sourced from Bannockburn, south of the Kawarau River

Grape varieties

Pinot Noir


Central Otago, or 'Central' as the locals call it, is the most southerly wine region in the world, situated at 45 degrees latitude on New Zealand's South Island. Its location gives the region very long sunshine hours (the further away from the equator you are, the longer the days are in summer) as well as a continental climate, due to its inland position, with big variations between daytime and night-time temperatures. The nearby Southern Alps shelter the vineyards from rain, so most only receive around 454mm a year. Alluvial gravels and schist from glacial valleys give fast-draining soils too, so many vineyards require irrigation. The lack of rain, however, does mean a lack of humidity, which is perfect for avoiding many of the fungi that can attack vineyards in other regions.

Central Otago breaks down into four distinct sub-regions, separated by mountains and deep gorges. These are Cromwell, which accounts for approximately 70 per cent of the region’s vineyards and includes Bannockburn, Lowburn, Wanaka Road and Bendigo within its boundaries; Gibbston, with approximately 20 per cent of the vineyards; Alexandra with eight per cent and, finally, Wanaka with less than three per cent. Pinot Noir is the stunner coming out of Central, but other grapes do well, including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.


More to accompany a special dinner than for everyday drinking, these wines are showing more complex flavours and some will improve with a few more years of ageing. Includes Pinot Noir, a wine that tends to be lighter in colour, body and tannins because of the grape’s thin skin. As the wine matures it develops gamey characteristics and much fuller fruit flavours.

Similar Style Wines

Wairau River Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand 2020
Fragrant notes of violets and cherry with hints of game and toasty oak on the nose are followed by cherries on the palate and a long finish.
Castillo de Clavijo Rioja Gran Reserva Spain 2012
Blackberry, leather and cedar aromas are matched with soft and rounded tannins from this mature wine.
Mount Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand 2019
Named after a local stream, this wine displays fine red berry fruit flavours and herbal hints following 10 months in French oak.

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Interviews and News from Mount Difficulty


UK Wine Show 27 Mt Difficulty Michael Herrick

Mt Difficulty is a top producer of Pinot Noir in Central Otago, New Zealand. Michael Herrick talks to us about the wines being produced at Mt Difficulty and techniques employed in the vineyard.

Interviews and News for Pinot Noir


UK Wine Show 28 Matthew Jukes

Wine expert Matthew Jukes writes the Daily Mail wine column and his Top 250 is the UKs no.1 wine guide. We talk about life as a wine writer and get Matthew's recommendations for Christmas 2006 drinking.


UK Wine Show 61 Louis Latour on Burgundy negociants

Maison Louis Latour is one of the most highly-respected negociants in Burgundy. We speak to Louis Latour about the activities of a negociant and their role in producing and selling Burgundy's wine.


UK Wine Show 83 Blair and Estelle Hunt of Bald Hills Central Otago

Blair and Estelle Hunt own Bald Hills in Central Otago, New Zealand. Their 2005 Pinot Noir scooped Champion Red at the International Wine Challenge in 2007 attracting huge interest. We visited the vineyard to find out more.


UK Wine Show 207 Allan Johnson on Palliser Estate, Martinborough

Allan Johnson is the winemaker at Palliser Estate in Martinborough, New Zealand. In this interview Allan gives us an overview of the region, the vineyards and winemaking at Palliser.


UK Wine Show 214 Ivan Donaldson of Pegasus Bay on Waipara

Pegasus Bay is a top winery in Canterbury, New Zealand run by the Donaldson family. In this interview with Ivan Donaldson we find out how the region has developed over the last 20 years.


UK Wine Show 233 Martinborough Vineyards with Paul Mason

Paul Mason is winemaker at Martinborough Vineyards, New Zealand, one of the first wineries to put Martinborough on the map as a wine region. We talk about Pinot Noir, the grape the region is best known for.

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Interviews and News from Otago


UK Wine Show 90 Greg Hay on the Otago, New Zealand

Greg Hay of Peregrine Wines set up Chard Farm in Central Otago in 1986. We find out how the Otago wine region divides up and how Greg has been played his part in its success.