Surrounded by rows of beautiful vines, the newly added cellar door to Merricks Creek Wines is the perfect balance of sophistication and homeliness. After all, it was once the living room of the Parker family, who have been running this wine business for 15 years now.
On visiting, one might be lucky enough to be served by the enthusiastic Sam, the son of the family that owns Merricks Creeks Wines. Moving away from simply supplying their wines to restaurants, the newly opened cellar door is Sam’s dream, accompanied by his sister Georgia and her partner, his dad Peter (the wine-maker) and mum Georgina (the chef). For an 18 year old boy, Sam knows a lot about wine and the pride he feels in his family business is charming. He has grown up making wine since the vineyard began producing Pinot Noir in 2001- make sure you check out the sweet photos of he and his sister running through the estate as little children. His passion for wine-making and the new dining offering at such a young age is energetic and inspiring, and it is clear that with his families support his dream is on its way to becoming a reality.
Showcasing 5 Pinot Noirs, and one Chardonnay, accompanied by a tasting menu that is simple food delivered beautifully, Merricks Creek is the perfect stop off for a light afternoon lunch accompanied by some beautiful wine and a tranquil atmosphere. The light-filled, airy dining area has both a large open verandah perfect for Summer days, and a large wooden fire that would be beautiful to sit by in the colder months. Seating only about 30 people or so, the space is intimate and without the pretence of some winery dining areas- it feels as though you have been invited into a home.
The affordability of Merricks Creek is also worth noting. The wines range from $10-$15 a glass, and the generous sharing plates range from $11 for lighter options to $15 for more heartier fare. 2-4 share platters would easily feed two people without breaking the bank, something larger wineries would not be able to match.
The crispy thins, crispy and crunchy Afghan style bread, stuffed with pistachio, hazelnut, feta and mint is a perfect starter.
The 20 month aged Italian proscuitto di Parma with Shaw River buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with ciabatta is reminiscent of classic Mediterranean cuisine; simple, good quality produce with harmonious flavours.
For those who require some more protein, the rare eye fillet with caper vinaigrette and ciabatta is perfectly cooked with balanced flavours, and matches well with the Pinot Noir on offer.
For dessert, the white chocolate mousse mini pots with fresh passionfruit were served in gorgeous little brass ‘Scan Pans’ and were very moreish.
Kahlua Espresso Deconstructed Tiramisu also impressed- an innovative way of serving that lets diners play with their dessert as you dip your way with the sponge fingers to the Kahlua spiked espresso to the cream.
Congratulations to the Parker family on opening this new chapter of the family business and thank you for (literally) inviting us into your home to try it out. This is a must visit whilst heading to or from the Mornington Peninsula for some gorgeous wines, beautiful food and gracious hospitality.
Please note: Foodie Melbourne dined as a guest of Merrick Wines, but all opinions are honest.
Have a delicious day!