The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty label have traditionally been sourced from vineyards situated on the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. The Growers Series first appeared in 2011 with the release of Mt Difficulty Growers Series Packspur Pinot Noir 2009. The label allows us to showcase the terroir of different sub-regions, the first of which is Lowburn. Lowburn is situated on the northern side of Cromwell, as opposed to Bannockburn to the South.
Packspur Vineyard sits high in the foothills of the Pisa range, and was planted from locally sourced cuttings by Anne and Laurie McAuley in 1992. Having sold wine under the Packspur label since 1998, the McAuleys passed management of their vineyard on to Mt Difficulty during the 2009 harvest. The vineyard comprises 3 hectares of north facing Pinot Noir (clones 5, 6, 115 and Lincoln Mix), Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The grapes are close-planted on a mottled shallow mix of the Waenga and Fraser sandy loam soil. The vineyard escapes the worst of winds and the slopes ensure a minimal frost risk. The highest of Mt Difficulty's vineyards, the elevation of Packspur ranges from 340 to 360m.
Golden Hills was planted in the mid 2000's by Bryan Williams. The vineyard sits at the top of Burn Cottage Road on a steep north facing slope and is comprised of Pinot Noir (clones 5 and 10/5), Pinot Gris and Mendoza Chardonnay. The soils are a mix of Annan moderately sandy loams and outcrops of clay. The elevation ranges from 300 to 340m.