October 15th, 2023Budburst Festival returns to Macedon Ranges
Words: Eve Lamb. Images: Supplied
There could hardly be a better way to welcome the quickening pulse of the season. All who are partial to a good wine will be keen to note that the famed Macedon Ranges Bud Burst Festival is back and happening over the weekend of Friday 17-Sunday 19 November.
The quintessential Macedon Ranges wine-tasting experience, Budburst is a once-a-year chance to step behind the vines and meet the knowledgeable winemakers.
Over a glass of something good, and amidst a backdrop of lush vineyard rows, volcanic rock and ancient plateaus, festival-goers soak up a unique sense of how the region’s family-owned and small-batch makers shape mainland Australia’s coolest wine region.
Across the weekend more than 25 of the Macedon Ranges region’s winemakers across 18 budburst sites, will open their wineries and cellar doors offering tastings, curated food menus championing local produce, art shows, sculptor walks and live music.
Notably, last time it all happened was 2019, pre-COVID, and this time there’s additional good reason to mark the event up big on your personal wine appreciation calendar.
That’s because this time the vineyards on the western (Daylesford) side of the Calder Freeway will also be offering a special wine bus loop – in the same way that those on the eastern (Kyneton) side do.
Among the ‘Daylesford side’ wineries participating is Musk’s Passing Clouds Winery owned and run by Cameron and Marion Leith (pictured below).
In recent days Marion chatted to The Local about preparations for the festival and explained that previously the wineries from this end of the region had participated by showcasing their wines at a central hub at Trentham’s Cosmo Hotel.
But Bud Burst really is all about getting out into the beautiful vineyards themselves – experiencing the terroir where it all happens.
“This time we have created a special bus loop for the Daylesford end as well,” Marion says.
“We have teamed up with Attwoods at Glenlyon and Zig Zag Road winery, and with Wombat Forest Winery and also Shadowfax Wines to offer a bus loop.
“To have a bus loop is a new thing for us and I think it’s a great way of bringing the wineries together.
“People can really make a weekend of it and stay for the weekend, so they could do the wineries on the Kyneton side on one day and then the wineries on the Daylesford side on the other day,” Marion suggests.
Festival goers can jump aboard any of the festival buses and visit up to five wineries on four different dedicated bus routes – including the new Daylesford Drive loop. There’s also the Lancefield Loop, the Kyneton Cruise or the Woodend Wander bus loop options.
Alternatively, wine appreciators may travel independently around the region’s winding country roads and scenic ranges to visit participating wineries and vineyards.
“The festival is really championing cool climate wine,” Marion says.
“Here (in Musk) we are one of the highest vineyards in the Macedon Ranges at 774 meters above sea level.
“Some of the wineries will be offering music and food and there will also be some special umbrella events on the Friday as well.
“We (at Passing Clouds) will be offering an exclusive tasting list highlighting our cool climate wines.
“The Macedon Ranges Vignerons’ Association, which we are part of, really wants to get people to the vineyards. It’s really nice for people to see the vineyards and experience where the wines come from.
“It’s a great weekend for locals to come out and support their local businesses and wineries.”
More detail about the festival, participating wineries, and different ticketing options available can be found on the festival website www.macedonrangeswineandfoodfest.com.au