155 Dairy Flat Rd, Musk, VIC
03 5348 2275
The Daylesford Cider property offers a complete experience: an abundant orchard home to 17 varieties of apple, an on-site cider mill and an olde English-style tavern with a courtyard – perfect for tasting the fruits of the cidery’s labour.
Owners, Clare and Jon Mackie, dreamed of making cider for a few years, but wanted somewhere they could be involved in the entire process – from growing the apples, to bottling and labelling each batch. When a prime opportunity came up at Daylesford Cider, they jumped straight in.
The first apple trees were planted at the cidery in 2003, 12 years before Clare and Jon took over operations. As an English expat Clare understood the necessity of using a broad range of apple varieties in order to create a well balanced, complex cider. The pair realised that there was a gap in the Australian market for this kind of English-style cider and decided to create a range that best showcased this.
The ciders on offer include the naturally sweet and rich Sweet Coppin, the well-rounded Alf ‘n ’Alf and the crisp and refreshing Farmhouse Dry. Clare and Jon have also developed sparkling varieties, ideal for summer days, aperitifs and even making cocktails. The Mackie’s Vintage Dry cider and Summer Pétillant were recently awarded silver medals at the Red Hill Agricultural Show while, a yet to be named conditioned cider was presented with a bronze medal.
Daylesford Cider boasts a beautiful English-style tavern that acts as the Cellar Door. The outdoor area features a brick courtyard, surrounded by views of landscaped gardens and lush manicured lawns on which games are played – the entire area is child (and dog) friendly. It’s an idyllic spot for a sunny afternoon spent tasting the range of craft cider.
The ambience on weekends is enhanced by live music performances, either in the sunny courtyard or inside. The indoor space is full of character and features a selection of comfortable couches, tables and benches. In the colder months, snuggle in and soak up the heat of the open fire with a glass of the infamous mulled cider. The spices in this warm, hand-crafted blend can be paired with a dish from the seasonal winter menu, which includes stews, pot pies and roast dinners, depending on the produce available. What they don’t grow in their own kitchen garden, Clare and Jon source from local providers, such as Brooklands Free Range Farm, which supplies the majority of pasture- fed pork and beef.
The orchards are certified by the ACO (Australian Certified Organic), meaning the team doesn’t use harmful sprays, synthetic fertilisers or harsh chemicals on its crops. The apples are grown on a unique trellis system, which may be labour intensive to set up but is well worth the effort. The benefits include reduced pests and fungus as well as easier maintenance and harvesting. Leftover pulp from crushing the apples at Harvest is also composted and used to fertilise the orchard.
While the orchards and cider mill are not open to the public, private tours of these areas can be arranged, allowing guests a first-hand look at the cider- making process, from tree to bottle.
From the sunny courtyard in summer, to the cosy tavern in winter and with a range of weekend meals created from local produce all year round, Daylesford Cider offers something for everyone and allows visitors to experience the full circle of cider production.