Australian winery loses over $500,000 of wine in fire

Ten Minutes by Tractor winery in Victoria suffered a fire on Sunday afternoon which destroyed its wine cellar and several vintage tractors, with the owner estimating over AU$500,000 worth of wine has been lost.

Image: Grahame Tiplady (Facebook).

Firefighters were called to the winery in Main Ridge on the Mornington Peninsula after a storage facility attached to its cellar door went up in flames at around 3:30pm local time on Sunday (25 February.)

It is reported that around 40 customers and staff were evacuated from the nearby restaurant.

Owner Martin Spedding told local media that he estimated that over $500,000 worth of wine, including a library of past vintages dating back to 2007 when the winery was founded, had been lost.

Fortunately, Spedding said, some of the back vintages are stored at another location and were consequently not damaged.

In a post on social media, the winery confirmed the loss of its shed and added that no-one was seriously injured in the blaze.

Both the winery and restaurant remain intact, Ten Minutes by Tractor confirmed.

Speaking to ABC News, Spedding said: “It’s quite devastating what we’ve lost inside the shed but it’s not going to impact on the business in any bad way.

“We should be able to reopen again hopefully in a reasonable time frame”.

The winery has moved its business operations to its other restaurant, Petit Tracteur, and has extended its opening hours.

The fire also destroyed several vintage tractors including a 1928 Fordson and a 1938 Allis Chalmers which Spedding had hoped to one day display in a museum at the estate.

The winery takes its name from its three vineyards which are only ten minutes drive apart by tractor. It produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and a rosé, dividing its wine production into three categories determined by the source: single vineyards, Main Ridge and the Mornington Peninsula.

Its restaurant is headed up by chef Adam Sanderson, who has worked at both The Fat Duck and Noma, and features a 400-bottle wine list focusing on the best examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from around the world.

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