March 12, 2019 / By Ellie Schneider
With its rolling hills, sheep-studded paddocks and heritage villages, there’s no denying the Daylesford-Macedon Ranges makes an idyllic getaway from Melbourne. Home to a flourishing food and wine scene, the region is punching well above its weight when it comes to enjoying a tipple or two. Add these spots to your weekend itinerary.
Passing Clouds (above)
Located in Musk, just five minutes from Daylesford, Passing Clouds offers a full-blown winery experience, where guests can watch pinot noir, shiraz and chardonnay being made on site. A new train platform at Passing Clouds allows visitors to ride a heritage train from the Daylesford Sunday market directly to the winery. Make a day of it and indulge in a Train, Wine & Dine package, which includes a four-course set lunch with matched wines and a glass of sparkling on arrival.
Run by the Ellis family since 1983, Hanging Rock Winery pioneered Australian high-end sparkling wine and Heathcote shiraz. Today it is one of the largest wineries in the Macedon Ranges, and the family have extended their expertise to stud-cattle breeding. At the cellar door, there are more than 20 wines on offer for tasting, as well as their estate-grown Hanging Rock Beef. Visit during spring for the Macedon Ranges Wine and Food Festival, a weekend of mouth-watering food, music and wines.
Granite Hills (above)
Trailblazers of viticulture and winemaking, Granite Hills has won more than 500 awards in Australia and abroad. Established in 1970, the Granite Hills plantings are the oldest in the Macedon Ranges, including Riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and shiraz. Today, the vineyard also has newer plantings including gamey, pinot blanc and Malbec. This family-owned vineyard and winery is perched atop the hills of the Great Dividing Range, and the cellar door is open daily.
Reminiscent of the wines of Burgundy, Curly Flat Vineyard is renowned for its chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot gris. Winemaker Matt Harrop is constantly seeking ways to innovate the vineyard and winery and has enjoyed regular stints in the world’s best winemaking regions. At the cellar door, learn from someone who works hands-on within Curly Flat before enjoying a free tasting. They also host a number of degustation lunches with visiting chefs throughout the year.
Daylesford Cider (above)
A grape’s throw from the heart of Daylesford, Daylesford Cider produces a range of award-winning ciders using 17 varieties of heritage apples grown organically on their farm. The range includes traditional ‘still’ ciders, along with lightly carbonated and sweeter ones. Set within lush, scene grounds, the cellar door is an English-style tavern where you can enjoy a tasting paddle teamed with a pick off their seasonal lunch menu. Enjoy lawn games in the summer and a string of live music gigs throughout the year.
Owned by couple Jen and Owen Latta, Wine and the Country are a wine shop and bar that offer a carefully considered selection of unique producers. At the bar, visitors can enjoy a rotating collection of wines by the glass, as well as full range of vermouth, gin and tonics and aperitifs. On the bottle shop floor, the 500-plus list includes some of the world’s most sought-after wines so there’s always something new to try. The bar serves a selection of cheese and charcuterie, as well as the option to BYO food. Pizza and Champagne anyone?