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Monday 1 January 2018

Passing Clouds: a quintessentially Australian experience

Family-owned Passing Clouds winery outside Daylesford offers a quintessentially Australian tasting experience.

There is a rustic cellar door overlooking the vines and a dining room that serves up either al a carte dishes or a "feed me" menu full of country flavours.

Pair your Bendigo shiraz or Macedon Ranges pinot noir with flavoursome regional cuisine cooked up in an open kitchen by chef Cameron McKenzie and his team. The dining room also overlooks the working winery - exciting during vintage.

First up a charcuterie plate featuring meaty goodness from McKenzie's Max & Delilah smallgoods company. The chicken liver pate is a standout, accompanied by pickled veggies and salumi.

It’s a great start that’s as generous as the half free-range chicken, roasted on the spit over charcoal and served with peas and salsa verde;, or perhaps opt for a feast of local meats like rump cap grilled over coals, accompanied by herbs and vegetables from the adjacent potager. 

Dessert might be tiramisu or strawberry panacotta, or perhaps a selection of French farmhouse cheeses.

The service is great, the ambience fantastic.

And, adding another string to Passing Cloud's already impressive bow, visitors to Passing Clouds will soon be able to catch the Daylesford Spa Country Railway to the cellar door.

Passing Clouds, in partnership with Daylesford Spa Country Railway, will receive $30,000 to expand its tasting room and build a railway platform as a stop for the tourist train.

The funding comes as part of the Victorian government’s Wine Growth Fund. 

Passing Clouds winery part-owner Cameron Leith (below, centre) said the Wine Growth Fund grant was timely for the industry, as it would help their business overcome challenges through wine tourism.

“Instigating plans in this area can be difficult in an industry that inherently faces difficulties based around cash flow,” Leith said.

“We get a couple of hundred through every weekend, but it really is at the point now where we are getting so busy we are actually turning people away.

“This (expansion to the tasting room) means we should be able to cater for up to 200 people every day. As far as the railway, it will provide people with a full experience.”

Passing Clouds, 30 Roddas Lane, Musk. (03) 5348 5550. Tasting and sales daily from 10am-5pm; lunch Friday-Monday from noon.  

# The writer was a guest of Passing Clouds and Daylesford-Macedon Tourism

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