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Sally Scarborough
7 May 2013 | Sally Scarborough

Home Grown Hero's - Merralea Scarborough

The mother hen, chief cook, gardener, cellar door manager and so much more. Merralea defines the hard work ethic behind the Scarborough business. Originally from South Australia, she moved to the Hunter Valley in the 70s. with her husband Ian.

Merralea in the early days in the Hunter Valley

In the early 1980’s Merralea opened the first and now famous Peppers Guest House in the Hunter Valley and managed the guest house until the drive to build her own business with Ian became too strong.

In the mid 1980’s Ian and Merralea owned a mobile filtration business which was located in Australia as well as North America. Merralea could usually be found driving a pick-up truck and running the machinery with all the boys.

Merralea in one of the many pick-up trucks in Northern California

While based in Northern California running the business and dealing with some of the big wine names in the Napa Valley, Merralea had the chance to see the experiences and wine tourism offerings not yet really seen in wine tourism in Australia.

This experience helped hone her attention to detail and she fastidiously applied this in the Scarborough cellar door.

Hunter Valley locals celebrating the opening of the original Cellar door in 1990

The original Scarborough Cellar Door on Gillards Rd opened in the early 1990’s and offered the same unique tasting experience then as it does today.

Merralea Scarborough was the woman beside the man who has built Scarborough Wine Co. from the ground up – truly a strong, pioneering woman of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Industry – a woman with a dream and passion who made it happen.

We love you Merralea. Happy Mother’s Day.

The Gillards Rd Cellar Door as it looks today


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@ 15/08/2022 at 8:01 PM
Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

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Home Grown Hero's - Merralea Scarborough