Ten Minutes by Tractor gets own winery
Owner Martin Spedding has never had a winery, relying for the past 17 years on Moorooduc Estate (tastings) as a contract winemaker. There was no room on the Mornington-Flinders Road site to build one, and scarcely enough room for the cellar door and wildly successful fine-dining restaurant.
So Spedding recently purchased another block of land, where he plans to have his own winery up and running for the 2017 harvest, due to start in March-April.
Meanwhile at Moorooduc Estate, Jeremy Magyar will remain full-time winemaker, assisting Rick McIntyre. Previously, Moorooduc Estate shared Magyar with Ten Minutes, as the Ten Minutes wines have been made at Moorooduc for the last 17 years.
It’s the end of an era for the McIntyre family. Rick and his wife Jill founded Moorooduc Estate and their daughter Kate, a master of wine, is marketing manager. Rick has enjoyed making the wines from ‘up the hill’ in contrast to his own – which are all made from grapes grown in the lower-lying Moorooduc locality. And credit where it’s due: the Ten Minutes by Tractor wines have been outstanding, the single-vineyard pinot noirs and chardonnays from the McCutcheon, Judd and Wallis vineyards reflecting the differences of vineyard terroir.
Moorooduc Estate itself is undergoing major changes. The loss of the Ten Minutes by Tractor business means the McIntyre family will have a lot less wine in their winery this harvest. But it will relieve the stress they’ve been experiencing and make room for their own expansion, to keep up with growing sales.
The volume was getting too big for their winery, and they have no room to expand it.
“We made twice as much wine for Ten Minutes by Tractor as us last vintage.”
Says Rick McIntyre.
Demand for Moorooduc Estate’s own wines has been rising, mostly direct from the cellar door, boosted by increased visitor numbers. This trend has been helped by Yabby Lake’s (tastings) new cellar door, which is just down the road, meaning the Moorooduc sub-region is more of a destination for winery visitors. Robinson’s is another nearby vineyard with a cellar door.
As well, Moorooduc now has a network of distributors on the eastern seaboard, which it’s happy with. And moves are afoot to renew exporting, “as it will help wean us off the WET rebate,” says Rick. He plans to produce more of the lower-priced wines, such as Devil Bend Creek because most of the sales growth has been in the higher-priced wines. This is because the quality of the grapes from all his source vineyards has steadily risen. A happy situation to be in.