Just an hour from Melbourne, The Macedon Ranges offer a perfect out of town day trip. Even in rainy September, this hilly rural area was on fine display with daffodils blooming everywhere as the towns and vineyards en route celebrated the coming of spring.
If you are planning on wine tasting, aim for a Friday or Saturday when more vineyards are open. On the Thursday we set out, there were 7 easily identifiable vineyards open for tastings, but they were spread out over a wide area and we had to plan our route. Granite Hills in Baynton was our pick of the bunch with a smart cellar door, a welcoming host and an impressive range of fragrant and complex cool climate wines.
After hitting a few vineyards we stopped in trendy Kyneton for a late lunch. The main drag Piper Street is full of edgy and interesting artisan clothing, antique, homeware and culinary stores housed in historic shopfronts (vintage homewares store Kabinett was particularly awesome). Right in the middle of Piper Street is historic pub The Royal George Hotel, revisioned five years ago as a low key hipster mecca, complete with taxidermy, peeling wallpaper, a large range of craft beers. The chilled out modern folk on the stereo on the day we were dining included Blitzen Trapper, Bright Eyes and Dana Falconberry.
It would be easy enough to head on from Kyneton to Daylesford and make a proper weekend of it, but as we had to return our rental car by 6pm, we headed off from Kyneton at about 4pm for an easy 60 minute drive back to the Melbourne CBD. I’ve already started looking for Airbnb properties to rent for a weekend in the future, though.