The myriad bite-sized flavours and textures that contribute to a truly delectable modern grazing platter are inspired by the long traditions of Italian antipasto, French charcuterie and Spanish tapas.

We’ve certainly come a long way since the humble 70’s cheese platter (who doesn’t love the coloured cocktail onions?), and the idea of trying a little bit of everything combined with sociable and informal ‘picking’ has been embraced across the globe.

Charcuterie, the practice of salting, smoking and curing meats to preserve them, can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Rome. In the modern lexicon, the concept of a charcuterie board is much broader, combining cured meats with cheeses, pickles and other quality produce on a grazing board to be shared with friends and family. And with outstanding local smallgoods and fresh produce, the very best examples of grazing cuisine can be found dotted across the wineries, restaurants, pubs and wine bars of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, showcasing the region’s paddock to plate excellence.

Captains Creek Organic Wines offers grazing platters on the weekend with absolutely everything on the board harvested, grown, bred and baked in the region.
Owner Carolyn May says, “from the breads, small goods, cheese – everything we present on our platters is 100% locally sourced. We put so much into creating the platters that it’s always a proud moment when the cameras come out and customers take photos. We have built up loyal relationships with local producers and it’s so important to stay local, support local and showcase our region.”

In the heart of Daylesford, Winespeake Cellar + Deli has become a destination for cheese and wine gourmands, with more than 800 local and international wines and hundreds of cheeses and deli items. A grazing platter featuring fine cheese and delicacies is one way to soak up the Daylesford way, inside or out, one sip at a time. Open until late on the weekends, Winespeake can also prepare grazing platter boxes to take away.

Hanging Rock Tasting Plate
Hanging Rock Winery, photo by @jacquihenshawphotographer

In the small historic goldrush town of Harcourt, apples, cider and wine are now the major drawcard. Harcourt’s Produce and General Store has put its own amazing twist on the meandering meal, using ingredients from its kitchen garden. The explosion of colour and carefully curated produce platters bring tourists and loyal locals back time and again.

At Hanging Rock Winery, a cheeseboard turns into a grazing platter of your choice from the selection of locally sourced charcuterie and deli items. Take in the annual sculpture exhibition while picnicking in the stunning landscape showcasing the famed six-million year old volcanic formation – Ngannelong (Hanging Rock).

Then there’s Sally Milford from Daylesford Gourmet who sources everything locally for her now famous regional grazing boards, and will even pop into your accommodation and set up a memorable private grazing experience. A passionate ambassador for everything local, Sally believes ‘It’s all the little flavour combos of savoury and sweet and texture and crunch’ that inspire her artistic grazing platters and the countless benefits that come with sharing food – and time – with others.

That’s just a taster of the many grazing boards available in the region. Next time you’re in town, be sure to try one for yourself, find the perfect spot, and enjoy.

Daylesford Gourmet Greenleaf
Daylesford Gourmet

Hero Image: Captains Creek Organic Wines. Photography by Inkd Fotogrfa

About the author

Narelle Groenhout
Narelle Groenhout

Narelle is a proud tree-changer who only a year or so ago, with her family, swapped suburban Melbourne life and a corporate communications role to fulfil her dream to raise her children in the country and live in a connected and compassionate community. Narelle feels like she has found her community in Daylesford and the surrounding region. Moving from a quarter-acre block on a busy road to an old farmhouse on a two and half acre piece of paradise, bordered on one side by a spring fed creek and the other by majestic eucalypt forest, Narelle has found the life she was looking for, spending her days gardening, entertaining friends and family and writing stories about the remarkable people she has met in her new community, along with trawling the local op-shops, markets, second-hand and tip shops for new treasures.