A beautifully kept secret in the Macedon Ranges

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Enjoy wine from the many vineyards in Victoria [©Visions of Victoria]

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Brian Scales, Glen Erin Vineyard, Macedon Ranges, Victoria [©VisitVineyards.com]

 

Nestled in the foothills of the Macedon Ranges in Victoria, Glen Erin is the ultimate four and a half star luxury property with country hospitality. As well, it produces exceptional cold climate wines.

When Brian Scales bought the property it was a vineyard, a dilapidated 1860s homestead and a few paddocks. This has now been turned into a luxurious 27 room boutique hotel, complete with high tech conference centre. The property also includes an award-winning restaurant for 60 people and a banquet room that seats up to 200 and is perfect for weddings, parties and formal functions.

"It’s fairly secluded this area so it’s probably better to call it a retreat and that’s one of the nice things about having a retreat, we can use it for corporates or we can use it for leisure retreats at the weekend so we get a good mix of both. Probably the main client base is corporate midweek; the weekend market is smaller.

"Well this actually is the second oldest planted vineyard in the Macedon Ranges. A lot of people don’t realise that. It was planted about 26 years ago. The chardonnay is probably the most prolific fruit and mainly used for base wine and in fact our Mystic Park Sparkling has just won a gold medal for the Macedon Ranges Vineyard Association Exhibition Dinner which we are very proud of.

"It just shows that this whole region is typical cool to cold climate rather than being sort of cool to warm climate but there are some excellent years where we get some good table wine out of the chardonnay as well. Pinot is very Burgundian style. It’s very light in colour, very light in body but true Burgundian characters coming right through; lots of cherry berry flavours, forest aromas and flavours coming through - sensational pinot.

"We make our sparkling to be very true to style so it’s a very dry style of sparkling. The base wine is absolutely zero sugar and we disgorge our sparkling at around about five to five and a half grams per litre. Now if you are looking at commercial sparkling in Australia, they can be around 10 to 12 grams per litre so they’re adding sugar to add that flavour base that people tend to like in commercial sparkling. They say why did you make it so dry? And I’ve got a very simple answer: Because I like it that way."

Only a little sparkling is made but this sells out quickly as those that like a dry sparkling think it's sensational. "The late Mark Shields pitched it against a Bollinger Grand Annee which at that stage, I think, was retailing at $150.00 a bottle; ours was retailing at a mere $27.00 and we got four and a half stars and they got 5 so we were pretty happy about that.

"We’ve got lots of activities around the place. We’ve got a heated pool and spa and the plans are to build that into an indoor swimming pool with massage areas and sauna.  We’ve got a tennis court on site, archery, petanque, or bocce or boules, whichever one takes your fancy. We’ve got a sensational ornamental lake with very, very large trout. We have got a couple of golf driving bays and it’s a whole resort experience really. The nice thing is it’s in the heart of the countryside and it’s so quiet. We hear the birds here.

"The Yarra Valley is so well known, it’s one of the icons of Victorian tourism. The Macedon Ranges is not well known. You could ask 100 people in the main street of Melbourne where the Macedon Ranges was and you would probably get 2 right answers. For that reason it’s not overpopulated at the weekend by tourists. Now it’s a bit of a double edged sword because we like that to happen, that business, but the fact that it doesn’t happen is better for the tourists who come out here.

"So in effect the Macedon Ranges is still one of those beautifully kept secrets that more and more people are finding out about but they are not telling too many people so that they can keep it nice and quiet and relaxed. We’re sitting right now 560 metres above sea level, so you get really nice crisp, cool nights. You get warm days without humidity, you get genuine 4 seasons, you get sprinklings of snow in winter and the air is just unbelievably fresh. So it’s the whole package."

Regions

  • Macedon Ranges (Wine) (VIC)

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February 05th, 2010
 
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