Bindi Wines - Michael Dillon, the chief winemaker, just scooped the coveted winemaker of the year award from Halliday. Bindi don't fine the wines (see our blog on vegan wines for more information on this), they use minimal filtration and they intensively manage each vine. The vineyard is on a steep North-facing slope, which means the vines get more sun than most in the Macedon Ranges and this makes for riper grapes and more concentrated wines.
Place of Changing Winds - This is one of the most interesting Macedon Ranges wineries. Where many wineries have one full-time worker per fifty hectares', PoCW has one full-time worker per hectare. It's an intensively planted, minimal irrigation, organic cultivation vineyard only growing pinot noir and chardonnay. Where most Australian vineyards will get 2-3kg of fruit per vine, Changing Winds harvests about 400gms only. All this in done in service of getting the maximum fruit expression from each grape.
Hunter Gatherer Winery - Only a five hectare planting of twenty year old Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Merlot. As the name suggests, fruit is also sourced from other wineries in the area. It's another local winery with a minimal intervention philosophy and with a a tasting flight of 9 wines for $10 at their cellar door, it's a great value way to check out the philosophy of the winemaker.
Mount Macedon Winery - At almost 700m above sea level this is one of Australia's highest altitude cellar doors. They grow chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling, along with sourcing grapes from surrounding vineyards. It's a lovely venue for a wedding, a meal at their restaurant or a wine tasting before or after (or before and after!) you explore Mount Macedon. Bookings essential here.
Curly Flat - Curly Flat have well-loved Sunday lunches with food and drink pairings and a cellar door offering free tastings of their wines during the week (open 12-5) all hosted in a beautifully renovated heritage building. The Curly Flat white pinot is an unusual treat.
Domaine Epis - One vineyard is close to Woodend and the other to Kyneton (30kms away) and both are charming historic towns with excellent restaurants offering some of the best places to eat and drink local specialities. The Australian average for cropping wine grapes of tonnes per acre is 2-3, but at Domaine Epis it is one and a half. These low-yield vines often produce fruit of great flavour and complexity.
Lyons Will Estate - Often awarded as one of the Macedon Ranges' best cellar doors, Lyons Will grow only their own fruit and make both gamay and riesling along with sparkling wines and other staples of the area. In their quest for a true expression of terroir in the wine, they state that "We do not add or remove any acids, tannins or colourants, and have moved away from relying on commercial yeasts and bacteria."
Granite Hills Estate -All estate grown and bottled wines. With varietals including Pinot Blanc, Gamay Noir, Gruner Veltliner and a small planting of Malbec, Granite Hills is producing some of the more unusual bottles of cool climate wine of the Macedon Ranges wine region, but it's also one of the few vineyards with plantings of shiraz.
Mount Towrong Vineyard - a perfect little encapsulation of all the great things about the ranges. Terraced, sustainable, unusual varietals, hand picked, family owned and it has a cellar door with breath-taking views of the local landscape (and some very good wine)
Passing Clouds- Passing Clouds, situated in both Bendigo and the Macedon Ranges, will be celebrating their fiftieth birthday in 2024. They're biodynamic, regenerative, and they make consistantly great wine. The cellar door is open seven days a week and the restaurant from Thu-Mon.