Sunday, 21 July 2013

Ten Minutes by Tractor

 Ten Minutes By Tractor

Less than a year ago, in class one night, my sommelier teacher raved about a cool little winery in the Mornington Peninsula ( Australia ) called Ten Minutes by Tractor.  She had visited the winery a few years prior and mentioned this as being one her favorites during her visit due to the lovely, refreshing quality of their chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and particularly their pinot noir.  With such a catchy name, I did some research on this winery after my class and was excited about their wine making approach and philosophy.  “One day…..” I thought. 

Well, dreams become reality and that day was last Wednesday when I had the opportunity to visit the winery myself to taste not only their wine, but also the outstanding degustation menu at their attached restaurant.

TMBT has three main plots of land which are about 10 minutes tractor drive apart.  They make wines that represent their sense of place – ‘terroir’; their slope, aspect, soil and climate.  I had the opportunity of tasting; their 10X Wines, which are sourced from several vineyards in the area, all certified organic; their Estate Wines, which are sourced exclusively from their 3 ‘home’ vineyards; and finally only one of their Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Wines.  The Single Vineyard is not usually offered as a tasting because they are only made in vintages that produce wines of appropriate quality – production is usually less than 200 dozen cases. People are welcome to purchase these bottles through their cellar door, but no more than three – pretty exclusive stuff!

Of the tastings, I will write about the wines which I purchased (otherwise this post will be long and boring to some – and likely could put you right to sleep.)

I loved their 2012 10x Chardonnay which was very Chablis like in style – fresh, cuts right through to citrus, clean as a whistle, and with a pleasant enough finish that begs you to taste more. Very elegant and balanced – with just a kiss of oak.

10X Rose 2012 was fresh and fun. I have been told, it is difficult to find a decent rose from Australia but this left quite an impression on me. I thought it really tasty and delightful – good drinkability with nice ripe fruit and acidity.  Sometimes rose can be too perfumed or two sweet, but this is truly refined.  From 100 % Pinot Noir, this wine had 26 hours skin contact giving it a perfect lighter shade of pink.  With notes of strawberry, rose, and light spice this was very easy and enjoyable to drink. 

The Estate Pinot Noir  2012 was my absolute favorite – it had some crunchy strawberry, red current fruit, spice, and a bit of forest floor which added depth and complexity, paired with a fresh acid driven finish that lingered on the palate.  Terroir in a bottle?  

As hard as it was to pull myself away from the wine tasting area, it wasn’t long before I was seduced into the dining room for my lunch which consisted of an 8 course degustation menu that was equally as elegant, delicious and complex.  I am no food critic so please just enjoy the pics and the short introduction to each.  Portions were small but the flavors were big.  Just magic. 

Amuse Bouche

Seared tuna with sesame and bean salad, spring onion yogurt.

Goat’s cheese, pickled mushrooms, toasted brioche, apple and walnut.

Seared scallop, ratatouille, and leek

Roasted Hapuka (a white fish from New Zealand which has a steak like texture. It was awesome!!!) , cauliflower, curried quinoa, crystal bay prawn, and romesco

Smoked Quail (one of my favorite’s), pumpkin, black rice, kaiserfleich, macadamias

Duck breast with five spice, parsnip, and pear puree

Flinders Island Wallaby ( Yes folks – a baby like kangaroo.  BUT – let me tell you this was succulent. It was grilled, full of flavor and so tender it nearly melted in my mouth. It was my favorite dish), du Puy lentils, confit parsnip, prune gel marinated potatoes, tarragon and minted peas.

Plum sorbet, lemon verbena espuma

Poached pears, hazelnut caramel, praline cake, praline ice cream, and honey jelly.

The entire team at Ten Minutes By Tractor were knowledgeable, warm, and inviting.  I have never had such quality of food and wine, along with the professional and friendly service.  The waiters/sommeliers were really keen to explain each and every dish, and answer my many questions.  For good reason, there is passion and pride in what they do.  This was a very important day for me, in more ways than one. A small town girl who somehow feel in love with wine has made her way half way across the world to visit the #1 winery on her bucket list.   A huge thank you to everyone who made that day special for me.  Cheers indeed.


  1. How exciting! That last dessert looks scrumptious!

  2. Keep the blog updates coming! I'm waiting for the D'Arenburg and the Elderton visit summaries...haha

  3. Barossa.... hope I will make it there!!!

  4. Barossa.... hope I will make it there!!!