Celebrating 25 years of Budburst

Ruth Ellis. Picture: Shawn Smits

The epicurean delights of the Macedon Ranges will take centre stage as part of this weekend’s Macedon Ranges Wine and Food Festival.

Formerly known as Budburst, the program for the 25th anniversary event includes a visit by wine writer Max Allen, degustation dinners, live music, picnic cricket and the chance to sample vintages from 30 local wineries.

Hanging Rock Winery sales and marketing manager Ruth Ellis says the fact the Macedon Ranges’ winemaking prowess remains something of a secret actually plays into the festival’s hands.

‘‘We’re the same distance from Melbourne as the Yarra Valley, but because we haven’t got big conglomerates, we don’t get quite the same attention,’’ she says. ‘‘But we find it’s a bit like in Melbourne, all the best bars are the ones down hidden laneways. People tend to love that ‘I’ve been somewhere you haven’t’ type of thing.

‘‘We don’t get the busloads of hen’s parties and so on, but it makes for a really nice family atmosphere.’’

Hanging Rock Winery’s barrel hall, usually an industrial space, will morph into a venue with wine, Hanging Rock beef, a barbecue, live music and even a warehouse sale.

Weekend winery passes are available for $15. Details at www.budburst.com