The interiors rich, moody tones inspired by the Even Keel wine label, blends so well with Red Hill’s rural landscape. The earthy textures and colour tones of terracotta, leather and dark stained timbers creates a warm and comfortable feeling, yet the space embodies such sophistication.

You can view our exploration of Polperro winery’s design aesthetic further here

The experience of Polperro winery isn’t limited to the beautiful interior designed by Hecker Gutherie, the very drinkable and well-balanced wines or the delicious, seasonal food. Owners Sam and Emma Coverdale, have imparted so much of their personality into the property and by doing so, they’ve transformed it into an inspiring and unique offering to its visitors.

It all began with a name change

The Mornington Peninsula property, previously known as The Vines, was in need of some elbow grease when Sam and Emma took possession. The couple were keen to put their own stamp on the place immediately and first did so by naming the property. For 43 years, Emma’s family’s property in Mt Macedon was called ‘Polperro’, named after a quaint fishing village in Cornwell her parents loved.

It just so happened Sam’s father also loved the tiny village, displaying similar photographs of Polperro in his home. It was a random coincidence that inspired the couple to take on the name. “It was a beautiful alignment between both of us,” says Emma. “It was a gorgeous connection to keep some history coming through from both sides.” Sam continues to foster this connection naming the Polperro single vintage wines after laneways in Cornwell.

The feeling of entertaining at home

When it came to deciding on the feeling of the restaurant, Emma and Sam wanted it to reflect their own personalities. “Our lives aren’t showy, but we love quality. We’re earthy and grounded,” says Emma.

This lead them to working with Hecker Guthrie as their connection and alignment of styles was similar to the direction the couple envisaged for the space.  Sam and Emma expressed to the design team their love of authentic, warm spaces like those of traditional Italian cafés. “We want it to feel like we’ve got a whole lot of people in our lounge room for dinner where we throw together gorgeous ingredients in the centre of the table and people just jump in. Lots of wine, lots of food – just the way we entertain at home.”

Natural tones and textures create a beautiful, tranquil space in the Polperro Winery restaurant
Natural tones and textures create a beautiful, tranquil space in the Polperro Winery restaurant

Emma and Sam wanted the restaurant to replicate the feeling of sophistication and authenticity from the mood and environment to their menu. It was to be all about “sharing, feasting, family, chaos,” says Emma. It was a space to feel relaxed and festive; to have a great time and laugh without being stiff, conservative and all tricked up.

We wanted it to feel wholesome and real.

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Rebekah Stuart’s Landscapes played an integral role in informing tone and colour palette

While Emma shares a passion for wine, the wine-making business is “definitely Sam’s baby”. So, after completing the villa renovations at Polperro, Emma embarked on another project which began as a personal interest and has now enriched the Polperro experience.

The experience of Polperro Winery grows

Emma has a love for yoga, and working high pressured corporate jobs drove her desire to practice more often. Due to a lack of places on the Peninsula, she ended up driving to the industrial centre in nearby Mornington to get her yoga fix. This wasn’t quite as relaxing as desired.

With an office space on their home property just around the corner from Polperro, Emma decided to arrange an instructor for herself and a few others to practice on the weekends. Little did she know there would be more than a few of her friends interested in Hot Hut. “It gained this momentum, the weekend classes became booked out. So, we put more on and then they got booked out, so we put more on. Somehow it just exploded over 18 months to 37 classes a week.”

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The boutique Hot Hut yoga studio looking out onto the natural landscape

Hot Hut offers a combination of yoga and meditation in a space that creates a unique feeling. “You’re right in nature, it feels like a little tree house,” Emma says. In winter the fire is going which further enhances the experience.

You’re right in nature, it feels like a little tree house.

The yoga studio has never been a commercial venture, but more of a personal passion for Emma. “I always wanted it to be an experience, not a yoga class. Everything is done for them; you’re not rolling out your mats, paying or being greeted at reception. You walk in, you’re in own head-space and lie on quality mats and fall into an experience.”

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The same quality applied to Polperro Winery has been put into Hot Hut

In two weeks in summer, Emma brings the yoga to Polperro winery on the lawn because of the demand. The property comes to life and even Sam gets involved and now practices daily. “The cool tunes bellowing through the vineyard is beautiful and continues to add to the overall experience we’re trying to create,” says Emma.

After eight years of living on the Peninsula, the couple are beginning to feel like locals. With their daughter starting school around the corner, Emma says they’re engaged even more with the community now.

“We’re consciously wanting to do things for the community, not just run businesses,” says Emma who thinks establishing Hot Hut has helped form a greater connection with the locals. “I love the fact that people feel amazing when they leave Hot Hut. That’s what motivates me to keep it going.”

Click here to see more of Polperro winery or to enjoy a yoga class at Hot Hut.