Recently we traveled to Blackwood and then onto Daylesford (about an hour and 45 mins from Melbourne). The Daylesford and Macedon ranges region is known for it's excellent and diverse food and wine product. Along our journey we met passionate locals who care about issues of sustainability and are committed to growing, producing and serving excellent local wine and produce. We enjoyed Blackwood and our visit to St Erth -Australia's first publicly open certified organic garden. We spent time walking through the garden admiring all of the produce, and then made our way to the St Erth cafe to devour it's meals fresh from the garden! We relaxed on the garden deck, listening to nature and enjoying the fabulous food.
Once we finished our lovely lunch at St. Erths we drove north from Blackwood towards Daylesford and came across a sign on the side of the road beckoning us to Daylesford Cider House and Tavern. We, like many others, have become cider-devotees, enjoying the sweet pleasures of Swedish "Rekorderlig" pear or mixed berry ciders, the lovely dry tartness of "The Hills" apple cider from South Australia or the occasional jar of good 'ol Bulmers from the Isle of Brit.
We drove the 3km's off the beaten-track to the cider house and reached the front of the property. We found the charming English Heritage Revival cider house building was fronted by the large double-decker bright red "Daylesford Cider Bus". We can only assume this marketing tool was created after the creator had enjoyed a few too many of their own products!
The cider house itself was lovely, and to our glee provided us with a brilliant cider experience we were hoping for. As we walked through the front door, Sally (the owner) greeted us & very quickly informed us this was not your "typical high-street" cider house. Here the apples are grown on the property - in fact it is the only such cider-farm in the central highlands of Victoria.
Sally let us know very quickly their cider is of the traditional & non-carbonated kind. OK, we were kind of bummed about that at first - being the newly crowned cider king & queen of Nth Carlton. The cider is in fact aged over 18 months and is derived from 20 varieties of apples. Their production process in entirely organic and is not watered down, full of sugar and chemicals - as many of the big-named city-ciders are - according to Sally!
We were encouraged to try 3 varieties offering sweet, medium and dry finished flavours. They were all quite different and all provided a deeply complex flavour to the last. We had struck gold! A great new cider we can call our own - now you can too! PS - they deliver free (into Melbourne at least). Kanpai!