After almost 19 years working in our cellar door, our longest serving employee Julie Eldridge will be retiring. Many of you would know Julie from visiting us over the years, she has been an integral part of the Ten Minutes by Tractor story since we opened our first cellar door in the tin shed on the McCutcheon Vineyard in April, 2002.
I met Julie on my first visit to the Ten Minutes by Tractor cellar door in February 2004. We did a wonderful tasting together of what were some of our first wines and it was Julie who informed me that the three families had decided to put the winery up for sale. That turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life and for Ten Minutes by Tractor.
With Julie’s pending retirement, I asked if she would make a selection of some of her favourite wines that she has served in the cellar door over the past 18 years. Unfortunately, many favourites from the early years have long been sold out, were lost in our fire or only a bottle or two remain. However, we do have some limited stock of some of Julie’s more recent favourites.
“Over the years our wines have just got better and better and these wines include a selection of my favourite vintages and grape varieties – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the wonderful 2015 vintage (my favourite) through to the 2019 vintage. In addition, there is a diversity of wines from our ‘Up the Hill’ and ‘Down the Hill’ vineyards. It has been a wonderful experience to work in the cellar door all these years and be part of such an incredible journey” – Julie Eldridge
We are delighted to be able to offer you Julie’s selection for this month’s ‘Curated by’ series. Karen and I and all our team will miss her dearly!
10X 2017 Chardonnay
A very approachable wine fresh and vibrant. Great acidity and stone fruit with a subtle hint of oak in the background.
10X 2019 Chardonnay
A lively expressive, elegant young wine showing fine acidity and generous notes of peach and honeydew. A very approachable wine.
Estate 2018 Chardonnay
This wine is a blend of fruit from four of our vineyards and presents an expressive nose of white flower, chamomile and nectarine. As the fruit shines through and opens up, drops of citrus fruit line the palate and are equally complimented by the fine grip and texture on the finish.
Judd 2015 Chardonnay
An expressive wine from our highest vineyard. A powerful wine showing rich nectarine fruit and good acidity.
McCutcheon 2015 Chardonnay
The most robust of all the Single Vineyard Chardonnays with a depth and intensity that marks it apart from other Chardonnays. One of the few S.V. Chardonnays to have completed Malolactic fermentation, giving more richness, fruit power and a very long and smooth finish.
Wallis 2015 Chardonnay
This wine walks the tightrope between weight and delicacy. The extra acidity gives it an almost understated power – a slow build of mealy weight heading more towards grapefruit rather than pure citrus and hints of delicate white stone fruit.
10X 2017 Pinot Noir
The majority of the fruit is from our ‘Down the Hill’ Coolart vineyard our warmest site. A very bright vibrant Pinot with juicy raspberry fruit and a lovely savoury finish.
10X 2019 Pinot Noir
Once again, the majority of the fruit from our ‘Down the Hill’ warmer site. This wine offers everything you would expect from a young Pinot – alluring spice, juicy and fleshy dark cherry and blackcurrant with fine tannins. A very friendly and appealing wine.
Estate 2015 Pinot Noir
A blend from four of our vineyards, ‘Up the Hill’ and ‘Down the Hill’. A fine expression of concentrated fruit, dried herbs and savoury notes.
McCutcheon 2016 Pinot Noir
The McCutcheon vineyard delivers a very classic Mornington Peninsula Pinot. This wine offers spice, dark berry fruits and fine tannins.
Judd 2016 Pinot Noir
A very low yield resulted in a very concentrated masculine wine. Lovely strawberry fruit lifted by a background of vanillan oak sweetness, pronounced tannins and persistence.
Wallis 2018 Pinot Noir
The chalkiness and mineral edge of this Wallis Pinot balances the fruit depth which harmonises with the velvety tea-like tannins, with deep rich red fruits.
To purchase Julie's Selection, please click here.
It has taken 15 years and a lot of hard work to finally get to this point. Vintage 2019 is the first harvest processing our fruit in our own purpose built winery on our Coolart Road vineyard.
Following a lower than average rainfall and relatively standard temperatures over the winter, cooler temperatures in August and September led to late budburst and flowering.
Above average temperatures and low rainfall during summer meant an early veraison and harvest. Five days of above average temperatures at the beginning of harvest has compressed the vintage further, with ‘up the hill’ fruit, which has lower yields, being picked immediately after ‘down the hill’. On average, there is two weeks difference in ripening between our down the hill vineyard in Tuerong and up the hill vineyards in Main Ridge. There has been very little gap this year.
Ten Minutes by Tractor commenced picking on the 27th February at our Coolart Road vineyard and we will finish the picking up the hill vineyards by around 20th March.
The yields are normal and fruit quality is outstanding, particularly up the hill. The down the hill fruit has higher sugar levels from the warmer weather experienced during picking. Up the hill fruit has maintained very good acidity and beautiful flavours. At this very early stage we would say that the 2019 vintage has a lot of promise, better than 2016 and 2018 and quality to match or exceed 2017, but time will tell.
- Martin Spedding