Motton Terraces Vineyard & Wines
Motton Terraces is an award winning, family operated, true cool-climate vineyard and winery located in North West Tasmania. We do everything on site including growing the grapes, making the wine, lab testing and marketing. Visit our cellar door, taste some wine, talk to the winemaker (Flemming), let us show you through the vineyard - we guarantee an experience that's something out of the ordinary.
Motton Terraces sits tucked into a beautiful bush setting in Tasmania’s North West area commonly referred to as the ‘Cradle Coast’.
- A daringly different drop - because we can!
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
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- Dog Friendly:
- Winery Tours:
- Wine Tasting:
- Art or Architecture:
- Organic / Biodynamic:
- Wine Club:
- Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:
In 1963, aged nearly 7, I arrived in Perth, Western Australia from Copenhagen, Denmark with my mother and sister. We moved to Victoria in 1966 where I grew up in Dandenong until 1973 then Cranbourne until 1979. Jenny’s family comes from Maryborough, Victoria but she was born and bred in Dandenong.
We met in 1978, married in 1980 and moved into our first home - a rental half house in Dandenong.
The journey begins:
It was probably our first holiday (a camping trip around Victoria in April 1981) that started us on the road to where we are now. Although the touring included wineries we didn’t anticipate anything other than buying and drinking wine, but what we saw and experienced stayed with us
North East Victoria has some truly magnificent wines though we felt the flashy tasting areas were too impersonal, so it’s no surprise that the most memorable was rustic +. It was a very large old corrugated shed built partly into the hillside. The first thing that struck us walking in was the dirt floor and the smell of wine. Further inside, the rest of the shed had a raised wooden floor stacked high with wine barrels stretching back for a long way.
The owner, a crusty old fellow who sat at a rickety wooden table in the corner, presided over some bottles of wine and glasses; he led us through tasting some truly delightful red wines. We can neither recall where it was nor what it was called, and probably have some romantic reconstructed memories of it; but its legacy lives on in how we do things – simply, unpretentiously and definitely not flashy.
From the 'burbs to the bush:
Typical of most young couples, we bought a house in suburbia where we landscaped, gardened, built the customary fernery, BBQ, paving and carport. Then we got ambitious and built cupboards and a massive lounge suite - exceedingly comfortable but way too huge. Our families’ legacies and passion for DIY (Do It Yourself) flourished.
Somewhere along the line self sufficiency became attractive, followed by the realisation that a suburban block was just not big enough. With the notion of buying acreage and becoming self sufficient farmers the intention was to check out various places around Australia. One trip to Tasmania and we were sold – never did get to check out the rest of Australia.
In 1986 we bought what is now Motton Terraces and designed and drew up house plans. In a leap of faith that is scary in hindsight we gave up well paid jobs, packed all our belongings into an old truck, caught the ferry and arrived in Tassie in April 1987. We had nowhere to live and all we owned was in Jenny’s car and the truck.
Some kindly neighbours put us up for the 3 weeks it took me to build a shack – bush poles clad in corrugated iron and a dirt floor – no running water, toilet or washing facilities – absolute madness! We lived in that for several months until our somewhat unexpected first pregnancy forced a move to rental accommodation with amenities. The next 2½ years were bleak as the money started running out, no jobs to speak of and the house building dragged on.
The plans start taking shape:
Things picked up in late 1989 when I got temporary work at North West Pathology, followed by a permanent job with Social Security (Centrelink). As soon as the probationary period ended it was off to the bank for a mortgage. From then onwards (until I retired in 2012) it was “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go”.
We planted the Riesling vineyard in 1990 and boy was that a steep learning curve. The method we used for planting the rootlings was destined for a poor strike rate – dry clayey soil and no watering facilities. Then to really test things we had used electric fencing around the vineyard thinking that would keep out the wildlife – ppffft – the wallabies took a flying leap right through and fed mightily on the young shoots.
Next we fenced it with chicken wire, topped with three strands of electric fence. No more wallaby problems, but now it was clear that rabbits had also been a problem - and they could still squeeze through the chicken wire. There was also a problem with possums and they seemed to be impervious to electric fencing.
The problem of wildlife eating the vines was not solved until we installed permanent netting over the vineyard. This also had the benefit of keeping the birds out when the grapes ripened. Constructing it was ‘an experience’ and remains an ongoing affair as it was done on the cheap and we’ve played catch-up ever since by making improvements and repairs.