Once a popular destination for Marchants lemonade and ice cream, this gorgeous heritage listed structure has recently been transformed into a chic cellar door and restaurant. If you're simply looking for somewhere new or maybe a bite to eat in-between wineries when visiting the Mornington Peninsula Wine region, Merricks General Wine Store is the perfect stop.
Located in Merricks right next door to Stonier Winery, the building is owned by some of the most prevalent wine making families in the area who are behind Elgee Park, Baillieu Vineyard and Quealy Wines. All wines at the cellar door are sourced directly from the owner's local vineyards and are also available in the restaurant.
Although the building was recently renovated, its original character has become a feature of the café and eatery. Experience a farm driven, country feel meandering from the tasting room with informal dining area, to a more countrified yet formal restaurant experience out the back. The relaxed outdoor dining area is also great on a sunny day.
The menu matches the decor perfectly, boasting an exciting blend of traditional and modern cuisine. There are separate breakfast, 'cellar room' and 'dining room' menus, all of which feature interesting dishes incorporating local produce. I am no 'food critic' but one of my personal favourites is the Kingfish ceviche, but I can tell you that everything on the menu is well worth a try. If you don't quite feel like a meal, there is also the bistro area offering light snacks and tempting sweets.
A highlight of the store for me is that all wines on the menu are available for tasting at the cellar door, so you can choose the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Staff at the cellar door are always eager to educate patrons on their selection of wines regardless of their level of understanding. I find it refreshing to have the opportunity to be served by such well-informed staff who are always generous in imparting their knowledge of food and wine. I look forward to learning more about their views on wine upon every visit.
Merricks General Store is open everyday from 9am to 5pm (open from 8am on weekends).