Orana by Balcon has always endeavoured to retain connections to the natural environment and celebrate Australian history. The fertile Victorian landscape provides us with rich beauty and healthy and sustainable sources of nourishment. Balcon Group wanted to source Victorian wine to celebrate the joy of purchasing their new homes and share in the glory of our local food and wine. This is why Balcon reached out to Merricks General Wine Store, the official cellar door of Elgee Park Wines, Victoria’s .
The wine has selected is a chardonnay and pinot noir combination with aromas of freshly baked bread, apple and citrus fruits. This wine is renowned for its traditional style of French production which gives the palate a rich creaminess. The wine of Elgee Park is hand-harvested and we believe this provides an extra display of honouring the heritage of the winery and a subtle touch of class which our purchasers of Orana deserve.
Merricks General Wine Store has operated as the cellar door for Elgee Park winery for the last eleven years and the cellar door is nestled amongst the native trees in Merricks near the Red Hill Trail. It is a bistro, art gallery and produce store which reflects a nostalgic ode to Australiana with its corrugated iron, historic hand-operated machinery and wooden barrels. The building itself is reminiscence of a classic Australian patio with vibrant and harmonious atmosphere. Located in the famous Mornington Peninsula, Merricks General Wine Store is a leisurely drive from Orana.
Akin with Balcon, Merricks General Wine Store has a keen attention to fine details. It is also dedicated to providing place to come together as a community. Therefore, it was important for Balcon to source the best Victorian wines for the Orana residents. We reached out to Kerry, Venue Manager at Merricks General Wine Store, about why the wine we’ve selected for you is so special.
Merricks General Wine Store (MGWS) has been the sole stockist of Elgee Park for many years. What do you think makes Elgee Park wines so special and how does it make you feel having a connection to the oldest commercial vineyard in the area?
We are very proud to be the Cellar Door of Elgee Park. Elgee Park is was established in 1972 & was the first vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula. With the region now home to more than 200 vineyards, it proved to be a good decision & rather innovative of Mr Baillieu Myer who was & still is the owner of Elgee Park, with his wife Mrs Sarah Myer.
As well as the vineyard, Elgee Park is known for its quarter horses, Santa Gertrudis cattle & sculpture collection. It is not open to the public, thus the reason why Merricks General Wine Store was purchased in 2010 as the Cellar Door.
With only approximately 25 acres of vines it is considered a boutique vineyard. When you combine the rich loamy soil, age of the vines, the dedicated & passionate vineyard staff, hand harvesting & fine wine making skill, it is no accident that the wines produced are of such a high standard. Elgee Park wines are also available in some restaurants & independent wine stores.
As a small well-established business with a strong reputation, what do you think makes MGWS such a well-known and loved destination?
There are lots of things that contribute to making Merricks very special as well as successful. The building, built in the 1920’s is beautifully restored & is situated between the hinterland & the sea. The gardens & how they transform through the seasons are a constant source of joy to those who visit. We are warm, welcoming & friendly, always happy to go the extra mile to make people happy. Our food is fresh, seasonal & food that people love to eat. Paired with excellent wine, we have many regular locals, attract holiday makers & are a venue that people love to celebrate their special occasions. With a Cellar Door, Art Gallery & Produce Store we are a destination seven days a week.
Many of your products are locally made. Which are you most proud of?
During lockdown last year we established a kitchen garden at Elgee Park for the Merricks Store. Many of our chefs & front of house staff have worked in the garden, which is a fabulous contrast to restaurant work. To be able to have our own grown produce on the menu & see customers enjoying it is immensely satisfying for all of us.
When Orana by Balcon reached out to you to become a supplier of Elgee park Cuvee for our residents settlement gifts, what did that mean and why did you want to get involved?
We were so thrilled to receive the enquiry from Balcon in 2020 during one of our lockdowns. A positive to be taken from this pandemic is that people are so much more aware of how they source things & where they spend their money. Every dollar spent on Australian made products is keeping people employed, businesses able to keep on keeping on & if we all think this way, it is powerful & really does make a BIG difference. To wrap our bottles & see them all so looking so beautiful & being given to people who are celebrating such a momentous occasion in their lives at Orana is something we do not take for granted. It exposes our brand to a wider audience & hopefully people will enjoy it & come to visit us here at the store next time they feel like a little jaunt to the beautiful countryside that is the Mornington Peninsula…we are not too far away at all!