Sam Coverdale is the founder and owner of Polperro Winery, Cellar Door and Bistro in Red Hill. It’s here that he creates premium wines under two labels Polperro and Even Keel.

Sam grows and makes wines fulltime and surfs part time. He has developed an individual, yet versatile, winemaking style over his 20 years of experience. He brings youth, enthusiasm, and passion to the Mornington Peninsula winery region.

Sam lives life and creates wines with character and balance. He believes that great wines are grown on the vine, and when the variety, aspect and soil type is right, Australia’s wine regions can deliver elegant, textured and fruit-driven wines that hold their own with the best in the world. Having grown up surfing the beaches of northern New South Wales and South East Queensland, Sam started out as a vintage cellar hand at Tyrrell’s at just 18 years of age, before completing degrees in business from the University of Queensland and Wine Science at Charles Sturt University.

Sam joined Hardy’s, working across several Australian wine regions, then in Spain, Italy and France learning from the likes of Jean-Marc Lafage. Through this technical grounding and experience, Sam developed a strong sense of the wine he loves to drink and make – wine that plays to the strengths of particular regions and is true to the climatic conditions of each vintage.

Returning to Australia, Sam was frustrated by what he terms ‘a growing commoditisation of Australian wines’ as price, convenience and volume have created a glut of so-so wines that taste the same from year to year. He established Even Keel in 2006 with a view to create drinkable, balanced and elegant wines from around Australia that continue to interest beyond the first glass, thereafter launching his Polperro label in 2009, which focuses purely on premium wines from single vineyard sites on the Mornington Peninsula.