Pyalong Volcanics

Kyneton Ridge Estate (Traditional Place Name Taungurung) sits on Pyalong Granitic soils that were created 370-360 million years ago (Devonian period), which intruded on sedimentary rocks laid down on an ocean floor southwest of the winery around 475 million years ago (Ordovician period).

When the ‘New Volcanics’ emerged 6-million years ago, Kyneton Ridge was left as a remnant of the ancient Pyalong granite. It was circled by the ‘new’ basalt lavas and ash covering The McHarg Range and extending 35-kilometres east-northeast to Tooborac.

Large Devonian (370-360-million-year-old) period volcanoes spewed out magma of quartz, feldspar, iron, and magnesium rich minerals present as black crystals – xenoliths – mostly eroded away but some present in Mount Macedon and Mount Alexander.

The Pyalong Granite weathers into spectacular ‘Tors’ (huge boulders around the winery), which have been eroded down from their original state. The remaining quartz forms sandy soils, while the feldspar breaks down to clays.

Geological survey by geologist, Marcus Tomkinson.

COOL CLIMATE, HIGH ALTITUDE

The volcanic soils of Macedon Ranges are so important to the region, but also influence its cool climate and elevation. Together they contribute to low yields and slow ripening for very concentrated, complex, and high-quality wines.

The region varies widely from 211 to 1013m altitude[1] with a mean temperature of 19.2C° and on skeletal soils with cool mountain air, the growing season rainfall is 357mm (Oct-Apr). This makes

Macedon Ranges the coolest climate region on mainland Australia and ideal for early ripening varieties like Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay.

And for all varieties, when yield is restricted and the grapes have a longer ‘hang time’ on the vine, more flavour and aromatic compounds have time to develop, creating elegant, cool climate expressions of later ripening Shiraz and Cabernets.

[1] Macedon Ranges page, Wine Australia, viewed 8 May ‘24 australianwine.com