11 Apr 2012
The lead-up to harvest 2012 was a busy period at Mt Difficulty Wines. In an effort to better handle the larger volumes of fruit coming into the winery to cater for the demands of our fan-base around the world, a new barrel store has been constructed.
Temperature control is a vital component of wine making and was a key factor in the design. Matt Dicey comments "in many ways the design revolved around the functionality of the space. In an effort to keep the temperature at the correct constant temperature the building is set into the earth hillside at the back sides and a 150mm deep vegetated roof is being installed on the insulated roof slab. By spending a bit more money at the start on the design and construction, we will end up saving a lot on money on heating and cooling costs".
Stormwater360 was commissioned to carry out the design and installation of the living roof. Using the LiveRoof pre-vegetated modular system, Stormwater360 contracted a local grower, Roxburgh's Central Otago Landscapes, to propagate and grow the 4800 modules. The plants are a mix of local native grasses, wild thyme and locally sourced stonecrop sedums. Stormwater360 designer Greg Yeoman said "The brief was to incorporate local grasses and stonecrop sedum. From this we developed a palette of grasses suited to the lightweight pumice based growing medium and mixed in locally sourced thyme for aromatics and sedum for colour". The design layout interacts with the surrounding hillside where 4,000+ native plants and trees are being re-established as part of the development. "The flowing lines of the plant groupings emulate the hill contours. The dramatic hillside is a great backdrop with the scarred sluice marks from the old gold rush days and rugged central Otago grasses"
Installation of the living roof took place over three days in late March 2012 and was captured by a time-lapse camera (which can be viewed here). Otherwise, the roof is best seen from the terrace at the Mt Difficulty Cellar Door and Restaurant while enjoying a glass your favorite wine.