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Redhill vineyard
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Our regions and vineyards

We believe that great wines have character and balance, and that they are grown on the vine.

Sam Coverdale established Even Keel in 2006 with a vision to create drinkable, elegant wines that surprise and celebrate the individual strengths of Australia’s wine regions. Since 2009, he has specialised in premium, single-vineyard wines from the Mornington Peninsula, under the Polperro label. Sam’s philosophy is holistic in its approach focused on regenerative agriculture and where we hope to give back to the land more than we receive . This is achieved this by using a mix of organic, biodynamic and biological practices. That ultimately improves soil health.

I believe great wine is made on the vine. Our approach to winemaking respects and capitalises on Australia’s best cool-climate wine regions, resulting in wines with character and balance that are a pleasure to drink.

Mornington Peninsula

Just an hour from central Melbourne, Even Keel’s home on the Mornington Peninsula offers a stunning combination of beaches, water sports and vineyards. Generally speaking, the landscape is open, with gently undulating hills, rather than forest or steep hillsides. There are rolling green pastures, white-painted fences and, occasionally, vineyards.

Polperro, the premium, single vineyard label from the home of Even Keel, is grown and carefully attended to by Sam Coverdale, Brent Osbourne Assistant Winemaker & Vineyard Manager and their team on the Mornington Peninsula, using a mix of organic and biodynamic principles.

The region is characterised by a range of different soil types including deep and fertile red volcanic soil, as well as sandier brown and yellow varieties. Although most wineries here are relatively small, the region’s many different sites, soil types and mesoclimates (the climatic conditions experienced by a vineyard site) produce an exotic array of wines.

The close proximity of both Port Phillip and Westernport Bay prevents the days becoming too warm and the nights from getting too cold. This, combined with the ideal elevation, soil variety and aspect of the Mornington Peninsula provides perfect conditions for growing amazing pinot noir.

The Coverdale vineyard, winemaker and owner Sam Coverdale’s family vineyard, is situated on a northerly slope with vineyard rows orientated to the north east. It is a very sheltered site sitting in a little valley looking north out towards the Dandenong Ranges. With protection from strong winds to the south, east, west and north there is a very evening ripening throughout and as a result is our first of single vineyards to pick each year.

Planted in 2010 on 101-14 rootstocks the vineyard consists of the following Pinot Noir Clones of MV6, 115, Pommard, 667 and Abel. The single vineyard wine made from this vineyard is made exclusively from 1 acre of MV6 clone.  All vines are cane pruned to vsp.

Our Talland Hill vineyard is located on Red Hill Road at the home of our Cellar Door and Restaurant. The vineyard site produces, the hallmarks of the Mornington Peninsula – Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, in addition to a small amount of Gewürztraminer. The vineyard lies 170m above sea level and is the warmest and most sheltered of our three single vineyards, it is also the first of our single vineyard wines to pick each year.

These vines produce bold Pinot Noir’s, with powerful fruit and strong tannin structure, the chardonnay from this site is intense and mineral and tends to be a little less expressive early on in comparison to the Mill Hill vineyards.

Our Landaviddy Lane vineyard is located on Tucks Road in Shoreham. Our Pinot Noir MV6 Clone vines were first planted here in 1992, and reside on a gentle southwest facing slope with the vine rows running in a north, northeast direction. The vineyard is situated 160m above sea level, and is sheltered by a valley that is moderated by the cooling Bass Strait sea breeze, allowing for gradual ripening.

Our Mill Hill vineyard is located on Arthurs Seat Road in Red Hill on a north-facing slope with vine rows running due north.

The vineyard lies 270m above sea level, the highest and one of the more exposed sites in the region. This ensures a long ripening period which creates high levels of natural acidity which persist through to the wine. There are three grape varieties planted on Mill Hill – chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir.
The clones of these are as follows:

  • Pinot Gris D1V7 Clone, 0.33ha planted 1994
  • Chardonnay I10V5 Clone, 1.8ha planted 1994
  • Pinot Noir MV6 Clone, 1.0ha planted 1994
  • 115 Clone on 101/14 rootstocks 0.33 ha planted 2009
  • Q120a Clone on 101/14 rootstocks 0.1ha planted 2009
  • Q320a Clone on 101/14 rootstocks 0.1ha planted 2009

Our Little Laney vineyard sits at 235 metres above sea level on a steep easterly slope facing out over Western Port Bay and Phillip Island. Although sheltered from the southerlies that blow regularly, it retains a cool aspect and this shows particularly in the structured and grippy tannins in this wine produced.

The block that this wine is made from is MV6 clone of Pinot Noir planted in 1994. 

Regions of Australia

Situated in the Snowy Mountains, Tumbarumba is located on the part of the Australian Alps featuring Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, with vineyards at altitudes ranging from 300 to 800 metres.

The region’s ability to produce table wine depends on seasonal conditions and site altitude. The margin for error is low, demanding first-class management of vineyards, but when all goes well exceptional wines, particularly chardonnay, result.

The first vines were established at Tumbarumba in 1982, by Ian Cowell, and a year later, by Frank Minutello, at Tooma in the Maragle Valley, eighteen kilometres southeast from Tumbarumba. Testament to the cool climate of this region, the majority of vineyards produce pinot noir and chardonnay; these two varieties account for 75 percent of the total plantings.

The region is characterised by typical high mountain soils, comprised of decomposed granite and basalt. North and northeast-facing vineyards are preferred, along with a slope sufficiently steep to promote good air drainage and minimise the risk of frost.

The Canberra District wine region is largely situated in a triangle between Canberra, Yass and Bungendore. The region has a unique and varied landscape, with undulating hills and distant views of the Snowy Mountains providing a stunning backdrop to many vineyards.

The complex climate and low average annual rainfall meant that the first vines were planted here in just 1971, by the pioneer of the region, Dr Edgar Riek. Despite having the most strongly continental climate in Australia, this region is building an enviable reputation for shiraz and viognier.

Slope, aspect and air drainage are all important facets of successful winegrowing in the region, which faces the constant threat and frequent occurrence of spring frosts, recurring droughts in spring and summer, a high diurnal temperature range (cold nights and hot summer days), and a generally cool harvest season. The soil here is typically brownish and features layers of shallow clay. The sub-soils are not particularly water-retentive, meaning irrigation is a must.

In the heart of central Victoria, Heathcote is nestled in between the McHarg and McIvor Ranges. The Heathcote region is at elevations between 160 metres and 380 metres and is characterised by its ancient red Cambrian soils and is renowned its rich early Shiraz, also producing outstanding examples of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rieslings and Viognier. The climate and soil around Heathcote provide the perfect conditions for grape growing, producing high quality fruit, with distinctive flavours.