Pinot Noir

It is widely believed that Pinot Noir lends itself more than any other grape variety to the influence and expression of site. Ultimately this dictates the methodology behind our winemaking. It is a respect for the vineyard and for the grape itself that governs our use of winemaking techniques. Wild yeast fermentation, hand plunging and the absence of filtration all allow the expression of the variety and its interaction with its vineyard site to be vividly expressed without inhibition.




Harvest method

Hand picked, or machine picked 

All of our fruit is hand harvested as we believe the freshness and integrity of the berry is paramount to achieving our desired outcome. Ultimately we do not under-estimate the need for careful, delicate handling of the grape at this critical stage.

Harvest parameters

Flavour and phenolic development,
accumulation and acidity

Multiple criteria form the bases for our harvest decisions. A substantial part of our focus in the weeks leading to harvest is based upon sensory analysis of flavour and structural component development within the grape. 

Fruit reception

Destemming or whole
bunch, crushing or
not crushing 

Decisions made at this stage can dramatically alter components defining wine style. The inclusion of whole bunches within the fermentation vessel can add unique structure and aromatic profiles, yet we believe that the use of destemming without crushing and no inclusion of whole bunches allows our Pinot Noir to portray the elegant, refined and pure attributes that the Mornington Peninsula and Main Ridge is renowned for. All of our Pinot Noir is destemmed into small open-top fermentation vessels without crushing via gravity, effectively forgoing the use of a mechanical must pump.


Fermentation vessel, chilling,
cold soaking, wild fermentation or inoculation

From the point of filling the small open-top fermentation vessels with whole berries, approximately 5 days will pass as the populations of wild yeast present on the surface of the berries grow in number and begin active fermentation. This short period pre-fermentation acts to cold soak the skins of the grapes, and is important for the development and extraction of aromatics and structural components commonly evident within our wines. The use of wild yeast fermentation rather than commercially available inoculum represents a core philosophy for us at Ten Minutes by Tractor. Wild yeast fermentation not only in our minds, produce superior textural and aromatic profiles in our wines, but ultimately provides the ability for us to forgo any external inputs not derived from our own vineyard and terroir.


Fermentation temperatures,
and length of time on skins 

With the progress of what is usually an 8-12 day fermentation period, our Pinot Noir will reach temperatures of 32-34ÂșC before activity slows as the sugar is consumed. With little intervention over this time other than manual plunging, it will be a further 5-6 days post fermentation before the completed ferment will be taken manually to press. Our manual hands-on techniques enables us to forgo the use of a mechanical must pump, once again avoiding mechanical intervention, respecting the integrity and delicate nature of the grape.


Press date,
press cycle

Although usually 20 days will pass from the first day of vinification to the pressing of the skins, decisions as to the timing of the pressing are based on tannin profiles and the level of extraction. We use a pneumatic bag press with moderate to low pressures, which enables us to achieve our desired level of phenolics and structural components without excessive or unbalanced extraction.


Transfer to oak, temperatures and maturation period 

From the press, the wine will first make its way to tank for settling overnight, before it is transferred to a mixture of new and old French oak barriques.

The use of new oak in our wine is, for us, governed by balance. Above all else oak should not dominate but complement, frame, elevate the attributes of the wine. Judging the ratio of new to old oak each season requires significant thought and the decision has to be made soon after vinification - this can be difficult given only a glimpse of what the wine should become throughout its life. Fruit profile, intensity and concentration are all major attributes that govern the final decision, as well as palate weight and the wines potential to develop mouth-feel over its maturation. Our approach is restrained, befitting the elegance of the wines.

As winter approaches, the temperature of the wine will decrease and it will spend the next 11-15 months in the barrel cellar of the winery.

Malolactic fermentation

Wild or inoculated,
pre or post winter

In spring the slight rise in temperature in the barrel cellar will see a natural malolactic fermentation lasting from 2-6 weeks. We believe by allowing the natural onset of wild malolactic fermentation, an increase in complexity, stability and mouth-feel can be achieved. Again this technique allows us to forgo the inclusion of external inputs that may dramatically affect the expression of the wines origin.


Fining, filtration and bottling

In total our Pinot Noir will spent 11-15 months in barrique before it is taken to bottle with a light fining with egg white and no filtration. We believe these methods produce complex wines of elegance, texture and depth, allowing the true identity of the fruits source to be portrayed.


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