Places We Love
On the Grapevine
P :: 03 9699 8148
F :: 03 9690 2902
294 Montague Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
Macedon Ranges overnight tourA wonderful opportunity on this two day tour to take in the great diversity this region has become known for.
The tour departs at 9.30am and travels at a leisurely pace to the north-west to the family owned and operated Cobaw Ridge Winery at East Pastoria. Tucked away in a corner of the State Forest, this is one of the most idyllic settings in the district. The harshness of the surrounding countryside, covered with granite boulders belies the superb wines that are produced here. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz-Viognier and an Italian varietal Lagrein are all made from estate grown fruit. Cheese and biscuits would accompany the tasting and audience with the owners, Alan & Nelly Cooper.
A short drive away along dirt roads and through bushland is the Hanging Rock Winery at Newham. One of the highest elevated vineyards in the district, there's superb views across to the Rock as well as Mt Macedon. The region's largest producer, they source estate grown fruit as well as grapes from numerous regions and with that selection offer something for most tastes. Their flagship wine is the sparkling Macedon.
Nearby is Hanging Rock, one of the best examples in the world of a volcanic feature known as a mamelon. In excess of 300 feet high, it was formed six million years ago when a particularly stiff type of lava formed a rounded pile of layers on the surface as it was squeezed through a narrow vent in the earth. Since its formation, the mamelon has been exposed to considerable weathering and erosion, resulting in the unusual rock formations that can now be seen on the site.
Hanging Rock is also well known from the novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock and the film made of the story – about the mysterious disappearance of a group of local schoolgirls during a picnic at the Rock in 1900.
After enjoying the alfresco style lunch at the Hanging Rock Café, travel into Woodend to the Holgate Brewhouse where you’d be introduced to a range of full flavoured ales and lagers. The beers are brewed on site in the restored 19th century hotel and are an ideal palate cleanser after the wine tasting.
Late afternoon, travel into the Central Highlands to Daylesford, described by the British Airways magazine as the “number one funky town in the world”. With the neighbouring township of Hepburn Springs, approximately 80 percent of Australia’s natural occurring mineral springs are found in this region. The therapeutic benefits of bathing in these waters are well known and there’s a strong and highly respected community of health and well-being practitioners.
The region’s reputation for food and wine shows no signs of slowing. With an enviable supply of quality producers, the area has continued to attract talented restaurateurs and award winning chefs. There’s a terrific selection of local restaurants to consider and they include the Lake House, Frangos and Frangos, the Farmer’s Arms Hotel and Mercato @ Daylesford.
Accommodation options abound. From charming bed & breakfasts to boutique style hotels, there’s something that will appeal to all tastes and budgets.
On day two, there’s the eclectic main street of Daylesford to take in before visiting the stunning Convent Gallery. Established during the gold discoveries of the 1860’s, it was once the former private residence of the gold commissioner. It later became the Holy Cross Convent and was closed in 1982. Facing an uncertain future, it was purchased by a passionate, local artist in 1988, restored and opened in 1990. Its seven galleries display works by local painters, potters, jewellers and sculptors.
Close by is Lavandula, the lavender farm that surrounds beautifully restored 1850’s stone buildings that were originally built by Italian speaking Swiss settlers. It’s a tranquil place that reminds you of simpler times yet you cannot but be impressed by the hard work that’s gone into re-establishing this property. Lunch at the on site café, La Trattoria is relaxed and casual with a seasonal, al fresco menu. The lavender scones are one of the highlight dishes so best take it easy with the main course !
The return to Melbourne meanders its way through the townships of Glenlyon, Drummond and Kyneton.
Available on application.