Meet the Margaret River Maker: Nick James-Martin from Wines of Merritt

Meet the makers behind some exciting small-batch labels in the Margaret River Wine Region, who, whilst honouring the region's hero grape varieties, are challenging the boundaries with new wine styles and approaches. Wines of Merritt are single vineyard wines, made with minimal intervention and no filtering or fining. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are some of the varieties within the range. We chatted to Nick James-Martin, one half of Wines of Merritt, to discover some more about the label.

What about your approach that makes your wines unique?

We like to take a low intervention approach to our winemaking. Sourcing fruit from farmers that keep sustainability to the fore means we have a great platform with which to work. Preferring native yeast and building layers of complexity in the winemaking process, results in wines with quality, personality and that are true to texture.

What is your favourite Margaret River 'alternative' style to make and why?

Chenin Blanc is a joy to make and consume. It is a variety bursting with freshness, elegance and vivacity. The bonus that it can age into honeyed complexity if desired. It allows us to take pristine, organically-grown fruit and layer it with winemaker influence. Wild ferments in barrel, using older, subtle oak, plus lees stirring for shape and texture lets the ‘Cheniness’ of the variety to shine.

Why do you like making wine in Margaret River?

The quality of the fruit. It's the result of a unique combination of climate, geology, a cape facing three oceans, the moderating Leeuwin current and passionate, skilled growers. It’s a wonderful starting point for making low intervention wines. And a breathtaking place to live.

Where's your favourite place to eat in Margaret River and why?

Multiple answers depending upon occasion please? Best BYO – Teddi’s Big Spoon (Margaret River town), Best Burgers (and amazing wine list) – Settler’s Tavern (Margaret River town), Best non-wine (beer) – Servo Taphouse (Cowaramup), Best Fancy – d’sendent (Margaret River town) and Best Bar – Pearl's Bar (Margaret River town).

Favourite nature based activity / place in the region and why?

Swimming and snorkelling at Gracetown. Beautiful, close to home and you never regret getting in the water.

Discover more from Wines of Merritt via their website.