The Macedon Ranges is diverse in terms of soil, elevation and microclimate.

One of the things I enjoy most about the Macedon Ranges is the distinct differences you experience across the seasons. It is this seasonality that makes the region so well suited to the growing of grapes, but also one that drives you towards a wonderful, hearty red in the depths of winter.

The Macedon Ranges is well known for pinot noir, a grape that has an affinity with some of the coolest sites in the region. However, there are many exceptional and age worthy wines that are not made from pinot noir that don’t always get the same level of fanfare. The Macedon Ranges is diverse in terms of soil, elevation and microclimate. This means that you will find vineyards and producers across the region that also specialise in varieties such as shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.

When looking at wines from the region you may notice some of them labelled as shiraz or syrah. Don’t be confused as they are both made from the shiraz grape! If you see the name syrah it should give you an indication the wine is produced in a more European style from colder sites with the wine typically glossy, herbaceous, dark fruited, but generously spiced. Shiraz on the other hand is typically a fuller bodied and riper expression of the grape, with producers like  Granite Hills consistently crafting a plush and fruit driven wine that still holds true to its cool climate roots. Hanging Rock Winery produce a stunning single vineyard shiraz.

Cabernet sauvignon is one of the latest ripening red varieties. It is typically characterised by layered dark fruits that, when combined with quality oak, give a beautifully integrated and long living wine that sings with natural acidity. Wombat Forest Winery produces a wonderful example that can be found for $30, and represents very good value.

When talking about winter reds, we shouldn’t forget pinot noir or gamay. A great pinot noir or gamay can be rich, complex and textured and certainly not timid. Examples such as pinot noir from the elevated vineyard site of Passing Clouds in Musk, and the inimitable gamay from Lyons Will Estate in Lancefield, are sure to warm the soul, regardless of the temperature.

Whatever your taste, the Daylesford Macedon Ranges region will have a hearty red to get you through the colder months.

About the author

Patrick Eckel
Patrick Eckel
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Patrick is a skilled wine appreciator and has spent a majority of his life pursuing his passion for wine. His site, Wine Reviewer, provides independent reviews, over 3,000 in fact, of the wines he discovers. It's fair to say he knows a thing or two about wine!