The Cups Estate story is one which began in 1955 whilst a young Joe Fisicaro was working on his grandfather’s farm in Balranald- Southern NSW. Whilst toiling in the fields he dreamt of one day owning a farm and producing the same quality produce his grandfather had achieved. Years passed and Joe returned to Melbourne where he ventured into the vastly contrasting career of big business finance. He began working in banks and later held the position of Finance Director in an international ink company for 15 years. Years of socialising with various business colleagues and customers led to a love for fine wine, and the seed to plant a vineyard was sewn.
During a semi-retirement period Joe and his wife Carmen were spending many weekends in their retreat in Rye until finally Joe found the piece of land he had longed for as a boy. It was situated on Browns Rd Rye and was being used to stable horses, however Joe could see bigger things for the land and the area. While others advised that grapes could not be grown on the site, he refused to accept it and in typical character decided to plant the vines regardless of the advice.
The piece of land is unique in it’s topography, it is situated close to the sea and Port Phillip Bay and lies on the famous sand belt which has attracted so many great golf courses to the Mornington Peninsula region. The area is known as “The Cups” because of the unique and undulating dunes, which act as cups, and is where the name of “The Cups” Estate originated.
To date the vineyard, which was planted in 1999 has produced grapes which are of distinctive character displaying the signs of a magnificent site for grape growing. The sandy soil over limestone reefs produce delicate wines. The close proximity to the sea allows grape varieties such as Shiraz and Merlot to ripen which are rarely grown on The Mornington Peninsula. A great result for the defiant owner however it does not come easy. The benefits of being situated in such a great site also come with great risks, such as its vulnerability to frost and the howling winds from the Tasman. We’re lucky Joe’s a punter!
After looking high and low for a quality wine maker Dr.Richard McIntyre was chosen. His non- Interventionist Burgundian approach to making wine ensures delicate and light wines. His vast experience and attention to detail has won him widespread praise and recognition. The Cups Estate looks forward to a long relationship with Richard and his extended Moorooduc Estate family, which will no doubt continue to bear the fruits of quality wine for years to come.
Like most boutique vineyards The Cups Estate is a family affair. Carmen, Joe’s wife is responsible for the catering and also plays an important support role to her family. Linda the eldest sibling takes care of any legal matters. Paul, looks after the website and also makes sure all informational technology is at hand, and Lee, the youngest son is
the Business and Marketing Manager. The Fisicaro Family hope to see you at “The
Cups” soon, and for many years to come.
in1946, Richard spent most of his childhood in
, in the South island of
in 1961, he matriculated from Melbourne Grammar in
1963 and began his medical studies at
, Clayton, graduating M.B.,B.S. in 1969.
After eighteen months national service in
the RAAMC, he underwent advanced surgical training
at Prince Henry’s Hospital,
before travelling with his wife, Jill, and young
where he completed his D.Phil in 1979. Richard
in 1980 to take up a surgical position on the
visiting medical staff at of Prince Henry’s
Hospital and a post of part time senior lecturer
in the Monash University Department of Surgery.
love of fine wine began early – perhaps living
so close to Otago in his childhood prepared him
for his future second career.
As a student, Richard attended as many wine
as he was able, and continued this habit in
where he was exposed to the great wines of
, and more importantly,
return to Melbourne, he was adamant that he wanted
to try his hand at wine production as well as
consumption, and along with friend, Garry
Crittenden, found a couple of likely sites on the
The piece of land that was to become
Moorooduc Estate was purchased in 1982 as an empty
block, and the McIntyre family commenced planting
– first trees to form a windbreak, and then
winery was built in time for the 1986 vintage.
Richard’s scientific background was an
excellent grounding for learning to be a
winemaker, and under the guidance of consultant
Nat White, Richard learned to be a winemaker on
the past nineteen years, Richard McIntyre has
honed his skills and developed a style of
winemaking that is thoughtful and considerate to
the specific conditions and quality that every
batch of fruit brings.
He has participated regularly in workshops
and tastings and has attended seminars to improve
and update his knowledge and expertise.
Two trips to
have informed Richard’s winemaking style – he
always returns from these trips full of new ideas
after pumping the local producers for information
on traditional winemaking techniques.
Richard’s fascination with the science of
fermentation and the work of yeast, as well as a
quest to produce a wine that is of the highest
quality possible, that truly represents the
terroir of it’s origin has lead to, first
experimentation with, and now an adherence to wild
He is one of the pioneers of, and a strong
advocate of this style of winemaking in
is this, and Richard’s strict adherence to
quality at all stages of the winemaking process
that has ensured his reputation as a winemaker of
small batch, individual, handcrafted wines of the