The Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula have a duopoly on city-fringe wineries, but just north of the city – so close you can still see the skyline – is another wine region plaited with vineyards and cellar doors, all still within the bounds of Myki and ride-sharing apps.
Hume City has been producing cool-climate wines since the 1860s, when the first shiraz seeds were sown. Today, the hilly surrounds of Keilor, Sunbury and Mickleham are a landscape of bluestone, grapes, restaurants, cafes and luxury accommodation. We found four picturesque wineries, some with standout cellar doors all less than an hour’s drive from the CBD.
Arundel Farm Estate Winery
Just 35 minutes from the CBD, a 151-year-old bluestone manor overlooks Melbourne’s highrises in Keilor, above the Maribyrnong River Valley. Today it has 16 acres of shiraz vines and four acres of viognier. The cellar door is open from Friday to Sunday (or by appointment mid-week) for tastings, or a glass of wine and a cheese board you can take into the garden. In the middle of the 300-acre farm, between the 11 horse paddocks, is a 150-seat restaurant whose focus is grazing plates; pizza; and house-made pasta, such as fresh gnocchi with Arundel Farm Estate red wine lamb ragu.
A little further out of the city is Marnong Estate, a heritage homestead and vineyard. Bar the cellar door that opens out onto undulant green and yellow pastures and pours fresh chardonnays, pinots and shirazes every weekend, the real drawcard here is the accommodation. The restored homestead, settled between vineyards, cattle paddocks and gardens, has just four suites, or you can book out the entire property for you and your friends. Stay the night so you can sit by the fire and watch the sun set at the on-site restaurant with a glass of montepulciano, made from grapes grown a few metres away.
Husband and wife Pat and Dianne Carmody’s first vintage on their Sunbury winery was in 1978, and they’ve produced a lot of shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and viognier since. Remaining a small and independent winery for 41 years, the cellar door is open for tastings the first Sunday of every month, except in January. All just one train ride and a short walk from the CBD.
Goona Warra Vineyard
This 156-year-old vineyard and winery is one of the leafiest this close to the CBD, just one hour on the train from Parliament Station. The estate’s towering old bluestone hall, shaded by gum trees, sits in a natural amphitheatre in the foothills of the Macedon Ranges. Just 20 kilometres from the ocean, the black basalt clay earth feeds varietals chardonnay, semillon, pinot, shiraz, merlot and cabernet franc on the vine for longer than normal, thanks to the cool microclimate. Goona Warra’s scenic 17-acre vineyard welcomes weddings and events regularly.
Find more things to do in Hume City here.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Discover Hume.