This weekend the much-loved Merricks General Wine Store is celebrating its 100th year, with a range of activities planned for the community that it has serviced and held dear for the past century.
Built by the Joyner family in 1922, the charming rustic building with a distinctive bullnose verandah framed by vines, has enjoyed several different incarnations. Originally known as the Merricks Post Office Store, the business quickly grew to become a community hub, supplying everything locals needed from horseshoes to Flinders bread, a petrol pump and housing the biggest telephone exchange on the Mornington Peninsula prior to the war.
Unfortunately, towards the latter part of the twentieth century, and with the growth of shopping centres and supermarkets, the general store closed, and the building fell into disrepair.
The turn of the century brought a new lease of life to the Merricks General Store, re-opening in 2004 after extensive renovation by the Ireland, McRae and Calman families who sought to retain the building’s historic character, while introducing a modern cellar door, bistro and café.
Fast forward to the current generation of owners, the Myer and Baillieu families, who purchased the business in 2008 and also restored the adjoining Merricks House – a heritage home built in 1926 by John Joyner for his daughter Tilly. The house has re-opened as an art gallery and also hosts ‘The Traders’, a vibrant seasonal retail space inspired by country life.
This combination of quality food, wine, art and history has made Merricks General Wine Store a must-see destination for day-trippers and tourists, as well as a home away from home for local residents, many of whom feel a warm sense of familiarity and part of the MGWS family.
On Saturday October 15, the community – young and old – is invited to learn about the history of this local icon, as well as take part in a range of complimentary festivities:
Join the acknowledgement to country & smoking ceremony by Gunditjmara Kirrae Wurrung-Bundjalung man, Lionel Lauch.
Drop in to the wine nook and sample a selection of museum release Elgee Park wines from the late Mr Myer’s personal collection, hosted by one of the Mornington Peninsula’s best winemakers, Tod Dexter.
Visit ‘Tim’s Garden Table’ to learn how to start and maintain your own worm farm, plan your spring and summer vegetable patch, as well as delicious ways to utlise your garden bounty!
The kids will enjoy designing and painting their own gum leaf artwork to take home and treasure, while learning about the significance of gum leaves in the First Nation’s culture.
A high-energy hour of Mexican music & fun from talented musician & performer Alejandro. The Music Man will have everyone singing, dancing & shaking a tambourine in no time.
The Funky Farm team will join the celebration with a collection of their native Australian animals. Their passion for horses grew into a passion for all animals, making a specialist facility on the Mornington Peninsula for special needs adults & children to interact with nature & animals.
Other ticketed events include music and art workshops and the Merricks Store birthday cake competition, with special guest and judge Maggie Beer.
With so much to do and see, the MGWS Verandah will be serving coffee and light bites from 7.00am. In the afternoon a food truck will serve casual food and you can enjoy locally made wine, beer, cider and soft drinks at the Horse Float Bar in the Merricks General Wine Store’s stunning garden.
Merricks General Wine Store is located at 3460 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks. For further information about the 100th anniversary celebrations visit www.mgwinestore.com.au.