The Macedon Ranges wine region is on the Southern end of the Great Dividing Range. As part of the Great Dividing Range, the highest point on the Macedon Ranges is the Camels Hump at 1100m above sea level. Altitude and latitude make it the coolest region on the Australian mainland, with harvest sometimes stretching into May. The Growing Degree Days (GDD) of Macedon Ranges places the region firmly in the Group 1 zone = “Cool Climate”.
The region is extremely cool in the south-east and only marginally warmer in the north-west. The vital statistics below show the critical importance of correct vineyard site location in the almost glacial climate of the region's south-east. Across the region however there are many different mesoclimates. There is a great variability in topography and geology. Each vineyard is influenced by its location in relation to mountains, forests, valleys and open grassland.
Autumn days are cool and nights are cold. As grapes ripen, the long hang time of the fruit allows the development of complex flavours and aromatics, and cool nights encourage the retention of these aromatics and the grapes’ natural acidity.
For a snapshot of our cool region, please CLICK HERE to view our short video.
If you would like more information, we have produced a booklet: Macedon Ranges Cool Climate Vineyards and Wines along with a geo-climatic zone map and a summary of eight years of data as at 2021. For more information, please click on the buttons below.
Source: Hall & Jones, 2010 and BOM.gov.au, 1971 to 2000
Geography and soil
The majority of the soils are sandstone and shales which form the gentle rounded hills punctuated by the steeper and higher granitic hills of the Cobaw ranges and the volcanic Mt Macedon, Mt Gisborne and Mt Bullengarook in the south.
The soils derived from sandstone and shales are predominantly low fertility acidic duplex shallow brown-yellow clay loams. The granitic outcrops in the Cobaw ranges and parts of Mt Macedon are predominantly free draining uniform or gradational sandy to stony shallow loams. These soils act to restrict yields.
The volcanic soils around Romsey and to the south and east of Gisborne and north of Woodend are rich gradational sometimes red friable clayey soils.
Our Granite ridges produce complex peppery Syrah/Shiraz.