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MerricksLush farmland, bay views, award-winning wineries and restaurants, Merricks is a gorgeous and much-loved pocket along Western Port Bay.
The settlement of Merricks is tiny and has remained relatively unchanged over the years. The original General Store has been restored and converted into a gift and produce store, cafe and wine hub. While the surrounding farmland has given birth to multi-million dollar wineries and award-winning dining. Explore from Merricks Beach through to Merricks North and fall in love with this hidden gem.
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Enjoy the degustation at Doot Doot Doot
In the spirit of the on-site winery's single-vineyard heritage, Jackalope's hatted restaurant, Doot Doot Doot, delivers a faithful expression of site. Executive Chef, Guy Stanaway presents an ever-evolving five-course tasting menu drawing on seasonal offerings from the hotel's kitchen garden and select Mornington Peninsula producers.
Dine and stay at Jackalope
Set on a pristine vineyard amid the world-renowned Mornington Peninsula wine region, intoxicating rural acreage frames a luxury hotel, unique in both destination and design. Jackalope sets a new standard in regional accommodation. The 45 luxury rooms boast private terraces, king-size beds, complimentary mini-bar and on-demand movies, rain showers, and the option of deep-soak Japanese baths. Other hotel highlights include a daring 30-metre infinity pool lapping over the surrounding vines; private event and conference facilities; and immersive wine and culinary experiences, delivered through the hotel's two restaurants (Doot Doot Doot and Rare Hare), winery, cellar door and cocktail bar. Just one hour from Melbourne, over 50 cellar doors and restaurants dot the rolling hills around Jackalope's own 28-acre vineyard, while the Peninsula's pleasures (beaches, golf, hikes) are all minutes away. This is luxury reimagined.
Dine at Laura
Laura is Pt. Leo Estate's tranquil fine dining space. Named after the seven-metre-tall, cast iron silhouette 'Laura' that looks into the dining space. The restaurant is a room of beauty, elegance and a refined offer. Diners will be taken on a five-course bespoke culinary journey that embodies the season and the region. The guests are also offered matched wines or non-alcoholic pairings. Seasonal supplements and additional courses give the diner the opportunity to extend their culinary journey if they choose. And the true wine lover can explore our 600-strong wine list of Australian and International labels. Laura is one of four Australian appointments to the international culinary guide, Relais & Châteaux. In its first year, Laura received many awards including two Chefs Hats and Best New Restaurant by Good Food Guide 2019 to name a few.
Dine and visit the sculpture park at Pt Leo Estate
Pt. Leo Estate is a captivating celebration of internationally acclaimed art, design and world-class dining and wine, providing the most sought-after cultural and culinary experience in Australia. Gracing 134 glorious hectares on the southern edge of one of Australia’s leading wine region - the Mornington Peninsula, Pt. Leo Estate is open seven days a week, just a leisurely one and a half-hour drive from Melbourne city. This multifaceted family-owned Estate boasts a two Chef’s Hat fine-dining restaurant ‘Laura’, named one of four Australian appointments to Relais & Châteaux and awarded Best New Restaurant (Good Food Guide); a one Chef’s Hat modern Australian restaurant ‘Pt. Leo Restaurant’ offering the best of seasonal and local Mornington Peninsula produce; and a monumental 4.5-star cellar door. This culinary destination is set in Australia’s foremost privately-owned Sculpture Park, housing an ever-evolving outdoor gallery of over 60 Australian and international exhibits delineated by indigenous flora, set against an immense backdrop of rolling vineyards and ocean views encapsulating glimpses of Phillip Island and Western Port.
Walk Red Hill Rail Trail
The old railway line between Merricks and Red Hill used to carry fresh apples on to Hastings where they were sent on to the markets of Melbourne. There are no trains running now, but you can walk this pretty trail for yourself. There are lovely views over Western Port and great coffee/wine/sustenance at either end. This is a shared trail for walkers, mountain bike riders and horse riders so be aware of your fellow travellers along the trail. The starting point is at Merricks to the north side of the Station Ground Recreation Reserve. The trail climbs steadily for two kilometres providing good views over Western Port to Philip Island the Nobbies. After a sharp right turn, the trail continues down the steep hill to the end of Tonkins Road. The trail then continues to the left on the original railway's easement and ascends more gently to Red Hill, first through pine trees (look for colourful fungi in autumn), then two small cuttings. You can do this walk in either direction; uphill from Merricks to Red Hill, or downhill from Red Hill to Merricks,
Go for a tasting at Paradigm Hill
The idea for Paradigm Hill was conceived over 40 years ago. Ruth and George have always been passionate about food and wine and their other careers have laid the foundation for this adventure. Paradigm Hill was a case of all or none and their obsession with the pursuit of quality has meant pushing the boundaries with viticulture and winemaking and to work within ecologically responsible practices. Great wine is made in the vineyard and they have just over ten acres of north-facing gently sloping vineyard. The trellis runs north-south and vines have been trained with a keen eye on ensuring a balanced vine. They are committed to using only estate-grown grapes for on-site production of pinot noir, shiraz, pinot gris and riesling. This voguish new cellar door and winery at the end of a long driveway boasts a large timber deck with an eye-pleasing view of vineyards, meadows, stands of bush and rolling hills. An excellent spot to savour riesling, shiraz, pinot gris and pinot noir. Tasting plates of savoury delicacies are usually available to complement the wines on the first weekend of each month.
Drop by Merricks General Wine Store
Merrick’s General Wine Store is country at its best on the Mornington Peninsula. Between rolling hills and beautiful coastline, enjoy fine wine, food, art and produce at this much loved general store inspired by the rustic charm of farm life. The store's renowned cellar door features the family’s own Elgee Park and Baillieu wines alongside a selection of the region's finest bottles from neighbouring vineyards. For fine fare, Chef Patrice Repellin’s seasonal French menu flourishes featuring fresh, local ingredients to serve breakfast, lunch and in-betweens, seven days a week. Locals and visitors to the region can also drop by and grab a picnic hamper to enjoy on one of the many nearby walking trails including the Red Hill Rail Trail. For dinner in or a small gift, the ever-expanding produce store carries a stylish selection of country homewares and a range of delicatessen ingredients from the local region alongside European classics. For colour and an eclectic mix of art and sculpture, wander through the gardens to Merricks House Art Gallery. Regularly curated exhibitions are held throughout the year showcasing artists from both the Mornington Peninsula and across Australia.
Have lunch at Rare Hare Wine & Food Store
A hop from Jackalope Hotel, Rare Hare is a food and wine affair, with a devil-may-care air. Presenting the best of the Peninsula's food, wine, produce and views, this is a place to ensconce in, not just see – where crafted curiosities from surrounding farms are best consumed excessively and between robust repartee.
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