Winery restaurants are not normally the best places to find a great wine list: they tend to focus solely on their own labels and back-vintages, and seldom offer other wines from either the surrounding region or the rest of the world. There are some exceptions to this rule, of course - Terroir in the Hunter Valley and Innocent Bystander in the Yarra Valley spring to mind - but one Mornington Peninsula winery restaurant has bucked the trend in spectacular fashion, and developed a new wine list that is, quite simply, one of the best in the country. Ten Minutes by Tractor's superbly designed, leather-bound document contains a mouthwatering collection of the world's finest bottles - starting with the winery's own wines, moving on to other local examples, then to an extensive selection from Burgundy, against which the winery wishes to be measured, and then out to the rest of the world.The list contains a staggering amount of informative background reading; even the beers each get a paragraph of evocative description. Sketches by one of the winery's founders, polymath Andrew McCutcheon, adorn the pages (the vineyard maps are particularly attractive). And despite its serious intentions, the list also has a sly sense of humour: a selection of magnums, half bottles and ancient bottles is grouped under the heading 'ROBS - rarest, oldest, biggest, smallest'. There is also an ever-changing selection of wines by the glass, and weekly wine flights of local and international chardonnay and pinot noir. Ten Minutes by Tractor's Martin Spedding, who put the list together, deserves utmost respect and hearty congratulations for invigorating the concept of wine service in cellar door restaurants.
1333 Mornington Flinders Rd, Main Ridge, Vic, (03) 5989 6080,
WORDS MAX ALLEN