He’s the larger than life larrikin with whom you’d love to natter the day away. Shane Jacobson is the guy you wish lived next door, and we’re lucky enough to have him in our neighbourhood.

An interview with Shane Jacobson, words Narenna Bloomfield

When we caught up with Shane, he had 13 projects on the go, both here and abroad. The Macedon local is the busiest man in Australia, he values the time he gets out and about, and today he’s sharing favourite neighbourhood discoveries and tips for the best spots to grab a drink or two.

What drew you to the region?

The truth is that friends moved up here many, many years ago.  I used to come up with them and we’d work together on their block.  Every time I came up here, though, I felt they had some kind of bliss that was theirs and not mine. And then when we had kids, we realised that we could find that bliss and provide that lifestyle for our kids, and it was just a matter of moving.

Do you have any vineyards that are your keen favourites?

We love Bindi Wines. We love Passing Clouds. We’ve been fans of Passing Clouds for over 20 years and will go to the cellar door and also have a regular delivery of their beautiful wine.  Curly Flat is another local wine that we adore.  Oh, and there’s also Mount Towrong Vineyard. George, the owner, is such a character.  One day while visiting, we saw a grubby gardener pop up out of the bushes and wandered up to the car.  We said ‘Hey, we’re just here for a quick look. Are you open?’ He responded ‘Um nah, no, it’s not open no, but it will be, sorry.’ After chatting for a while, it took him about 3 minutes to unveil himself as the owner. Decent human, humble and authentic to the core.

If a visitor could have just one wine, what would you suggest they drink?

Awe too tricky! I’m going to fight between Passing Clouds and Bindi. No. I would tell them they’re wrong and they should have two.  Try a Bindi and then go for a drive to Passing Clouds.  Oh, and grab a bottle of Curly Flat on the way home!

Where would you recommend visitors go for a meal around Macedon?

We would go to Baringo Food and Wine Co. No question about it.  The food there is fantastic, and the team is brilliant, and there’s a really great wine selection too. That’s my go-to.

It can also depend on who you’re with and the food they like. The other place we go to is Kuzu Izakaya in Woodend.  I don’t think you can find better Japanese food in Australia.  I love it, and it’s off the beaten track.  If you didn’t know where it was, you wouldn’t find it. A hidden treasure.

There are so many places, though, without going to a restaurant. Riddells Creek Hotel is one of those hot spots.  Every second person tells me to go there.  The great thing about the area is that you can do a restaurant or pub food and have a great meal regardless.

What types of wine do you like?

I’d like people to think that I’m the bold shirazzy guy, but the truth is, I keep grabbing pinot noirs.  I keep my hand firmly planted around the cup so people can’t see the shade of what I’m drinking! So yeah, guilty confession, I’ve become the pinot guy, and it’s just happened over time.  There are so many beautiful local pinots, and I’ve fallen victim to their allure.  I assure you; I was the bold wine drinker. Honestly, I was. Absolutely!

And whites?

Oh, oh dear, here we go, so um confession time.  I was the sav blanc guy and then um, once the sun comes out, and as we know when it comes out in Macedon it comes out strong, I became the rosé guy.  My wife and I convince each other to have a drink, and it ends up being a rosé, time and time again! We keep saying it like we’re going to do it for the first time, but we’ve just been trying a little rosé for about 4 years.  So, I think that makes us officially rosé drinkers!

Are you interested in craft beers?  Are you a Woodend Holgate man?

In the area, yeah Holgate, love them.  There is also a new co-op, the Rock & Ranges, that we’re about to become a part of. Named after Hanging Rock and the Macedon Ranges. The locals are coming together to brew together. And what’s admirable is that Holgate, who could see them as competition, are big supporters.  I can’t think of anywhere else where we would see the community coming together as they have in Woodend. I love supporting local business here because local businesses are great at supporting the community. It’s a charm about the area.  People do it here by default, not by force, and that’s what I love about living here.

Shane Jacobson moved up from Melbourne and has been in the region for 5 years. He’s never looked back, no that’s a lie, he quite often looks back, and he laughs.