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Monday 29 November 2021

Tractor leaves wine list rivals trailing

Mornington Peninsula restaurant and cellar door Ten Minutes by Tractor has taken out the major prize in the Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards announced today. 

Marking the 28th year since the awards were launched in 1994, the winners of the 2021 Awards were announced online. 

Ten Minutes by Tractor also took out the 2021 Best Country Restaurant List and Best Victorian List.

“It's a story for the ages: a great restaurant and an astounding wine list that have evolved from the ashes of a 2018 fire which closed the venue for 18 months," said chief judge Peter Forrestal. 

"Owners Martin and Karen Spedding, chef Adam Sanderson and head sommelier Xavier Vigier all deserve credit for their part in the resurrection, recreating and revitalisation of Ten Minutes by Tractor. 

"In its wine list, they have reconceptualised the notion of the winery restaurant; given clearer definition to the idea of evoking a sense of place; offered a unique exploration of the wines of Mornington, placing them alongside the great wines of Australia and the world. 

"All this has made for a fascinating list. Xavier Vigier (below) takes his place alongside Australia's finest sommeliers as the latest winner of the Judy Hirst Award, given annually to the sommelier responsible for the winning list”.

 Of the overall Awards, Forrestal continued: "While the pandemic and its associated lockdowns made this arguably the most trying year ever for the hospitality industry, one of its signature trademarks - the wine lists - show a resilience and professionalism that flies in the face of such adversity. It continues a trend that we noted last year and reflects particularly well on the quality of education and training which is now widely available”.

The numbers of entrants in 2021 was an all-time high with a record number of 176 lists awarded three glasses. This compares to 157 last year and only nine in 1994.

The finalists for the top award were Bennelong, Bert’s Bar & Brasserie and Cirrus, all from Sydney, Cru Bar + Cellar in Brisbane and Florentino in Melbourne.

Cru Bar + Cellar won Best Wine Bar List, Best Listing of Queensland Wines, Best List of Wines by the Glass and Best Champagne List.

Awards convenor Rob Hirst said although for many, 2021 was harder in hospitality than it had been during the previous year, it was extraordinary to see the response translate into record entries in the awards.

Major winners were: 


Australia's Wine List of The Year: Ten Minutes by Tractor

Judy Hirst Award: Xavier Vigier


State/Territory winners

Best Wine List ACT:  The Boat House

Best Wine List NSW: Cirrus

Best Wine List QLD: Otto, Brisbane

Best Wine List SA: Hardy's Verandah

Best Wine List TAS: Fico

Best Wine List VIC : Ten Minutes by Tractor

Best Wine List WA : Settlers Tavern


Type of Trade award winners          

Best City Restaurant Wine List : Cirrus

Best Club Restaurant Wine List: Newcastle Club

Best Country Restaurant Wine List: Ten Minutes by Tractor

Best Hotel Restaurant Wine List: Black Bar & Grill

Best Pub Restaurant Wine List: The Watervale Hotel

Best Wine Bar List: Cru Bar + Cellar


Category award winners

The Tony Hitchin Award (Best New List): a’Mare

Best Wine List (50 Wines): Ishizuka

Best Wine List (100 Wines): Spice Temple, Sydney

Best Wine List (200 Wines): Fix Wine Bar + Restaurant

Best List of Wines by The Glass: Cru Bar + Cellar

Best Food & Wine Matching List: Pilu at Freshwater

Best Champagne List: Cru Bar + Cellar

Best Sparkling Wine List: Aria

Best Non-Alcoholic List: Ishizuka

Best Aperitif List: One Penny Red

Best Digestif List: Bistecca

Best Sake List: Sokyo

Best Beer List: Charred Kitchen & Bar

Best Listing of a Region's Wines: Settlers Tavern

Best Listing of Australian Wines: Bennelong

Best Listing of ACT Wines: The Boat House

Best Listing of NSW Wines: Charred Kitchen & Bar

Best Listing of Queensland Wines: Cru Bar + Cellar

Best Listing of South Australian Wines: Hardy's Verandah

Best Listing of Tasmanian Wines: Terrace Kitchen

Best Listing of Victorian Wines: Pt Leo Estate

Best Listing of Western Australian Wines: Wildflower

Best Wine List - Sommeliers' Choice Award: Quay Restaurant

Best Wine List - Australia's Choice Award: Il Lido


Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards was founded in 1994 by Rob and the late Judy Hirst, and Tucker Seabrook to recognise and reward the commitment, craft and talent of Australia’s sommeliers, as well as the investment by business owners, in building and maintaining great wine lists and the cellars behind them.

 # The writer is proud to be on the judging panel for the awards

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