With over 200 vineyards dispersed along the Mornington Peninsula, 6 of those are the pillars that title Ten Minutes by Tractor. As the name suggests, each vineyard is said to be ten minutes away from each other… by tractor, which we thought was a clever idea for a unique spin on wine tour transport – it’ll catch on.
The wine tastings are in-depth giving you this ornate feeling that the wine experts, makers, vineyard hands, to the kitchen team all live and breathe the naughty grape. And to be honest, if your commute to work navigated the most scenic drive through tens of Mornington Peninsula wineries, then you’d be a junky for the industry too.
Opening Hours and Reviews
Due to the unpredictable nature of Covid-19, we’ve found that certain wineries are struggling to staff-up on any given day. We’d feel terrible if you turned up to Ten Minutes by Tractor upon recommendation, and they were closed. Please call in advance to avoid any wasted efforts and double-check they’re up and running.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 690 reviews
4.4 ⭐️ Google Review from 190 reviews
The kitchen at Ten Minutes by Tractor is a game-winner in the fresh, locally sourced ingredients game, but they have a competitive edge. Head chef Hayden Ellis has worked at some of the finest high-end restaurants worldwide, including Heston’s The Fat Duck, Vue De Monde, and Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne.
Ellis’s prestigious inventory of skills and mastered cuisines has given him the power to create something beautiful. The Team has nailed the holy grail of pairing the connection between food, wine and nature and funnelling it into a collection of flavours and philosophies that encapsulate a stellar menu. WARNING – laptop damage due to keyboard drool.
See menu examples below;
Abrolhos scallop and truffle tartare, with Madeira glazed shiitake, cauliflower gel and caviar
Pan-roasted Hazeldene chicken, wild onion gel, turnip fondant, 10 x pinot sauce
Bundara Pork, foie gras, black pudding, smoked eel, and white chocolate
Vines and Wines
Six vineyards construct the foundation of this viticultural institute.
- McCutcheon Vineyard
- Judd Vineyard
- Coolart Road Vineyard
- Wallis Vineyard
- Spedding Vineyard
- Gabrielle Vineyard
Most of the above were family-owned vineyards that were recently consolidated and housed under the new name of Ten Minutes by Tractor, but the history and knowledge of how to generate the best harvest were passed on and preserved.
Each vineyard showcases a different element of quality that encompasses the personality of the Peninsula. While the region isn’t the highest in altitude (306 metres above sea level at Arthur’s Seat), some of the Ten Minute vineyards climb above 200 metres giving you the closest thing to a high altitude wine in Mornington Peninsula.
An apparent maritime climate impacts the vineyard as the salty southern ocean breeze greets the land, and it’s just enough to keep things cool during the drier months of the year. If you’re a Melbournite, you can attest that it’s always about 5 degrees cooler in the coastal region once that sea breeze kicks in.
But all in all, it’s incredible that one wine label can have such an eclectic portfolio of flavours.
These vineyards have been through it all, from fire to Covid to a staff shortage that has forced closure for many surrounding wineries. And somehow, they have pushed through all the while building a new side to the business – the interactive and oh so immersive tasting experience which you’re going to read about in the below paragraph.
Wine Tastings at Ten Minutes by Tractor
5-meter high wooden slat ceilings – a futuristic-looking barn if you will. The cellar door tasting bar was built from many bricks that, at first glance, looks like the warm pallette of a western setting sun, but as the tasting proceeds, you learn that the colours represent the formations of soil that lay beneath the country dwellers of Mornington Peninsula.
We tried the red tasting and the white, and no we didn’t use the spatoon, so the summery day haze was well and truly upon us as we walked out the doors and on to the next establishment.
There were some standout wines like ‘up the hill’ and ‘down the hill’. Two separate wines that showcase the impact of altitude. The ‘Down’ Pinot noir was made with the lowest altitude grapes and ‘Up’ with the highest. As we sipped on the two, our tasting sensei showed us the vineyard positions on the map and later again on the 3D map of the region carved out of wood and encased in glass in the private wine tasting room.
Another crowd favourite was the 2019 Estate Chardonnay, with hints of curry leaf, citrus peel, and capsicum. It was a flavour profile new to our palettes, and the excitement of new experiences made it memorable.
Altogether, the tasting was probably the most decadent tasting we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, and that’s saying something considering that we’re wine writers.