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Mount Compass Wines

Home > Adelaide > Escape the City | Food and Wine
by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at
Published September 2nd 2019
Local produce from the Fleurieu Peninsula
I had been wondering, for some time, about the shabby chic signs on the Victor Harbor Road near the Goolwa turn off. They advertise gin, grappa and limoncello so naturally, my curiosity was piqued.

After a Sunday afternoon walk near Mt Compass, I decided it was time to find out more. Having followed the signs past John Lacey's Green Tank Gallery, along a dirt road and through an expanse of grape vines we came upon a Cellar Door and a welcoming host.

We sat on a couple of stools near a brace of bottles and prepared for a tasting and a story.

Full Moon Gin and more
Full Moon Gin and more

The story goes that Joe Lenco and his family have been making wine and grappa for years and have recently moved their operation, Mt Compass Wines, to this new location and added gin and whisky to their repertoire.

Joe was born in Calabria, Southern Italy, so, as is culturally appropriate, he loves to drink grappa. His limoncello has grappa as its base. His spirits have already won awards internationally and he is preparing to enter his whisky and limoncello in an upcoming contest in Hong Kong.

MCW Grappa

Tastings are $10 per person and we were welcome to taste the whole range of spirits. We didn't because their potency is strong and I feared I may not find my way home. The tasting fee is deducted from any purchases made so we sipped and chatted and enjoyed the surroundings before heading off with our purchase.

Joe Lenco with guests at MCW Cellar Door
Joe Lenco with guests at MCW Cellar Door

The surroundings are serene and pleasing to the eye. The Mt Compass area is picturesque and, at the end of winter, lush.

Outlook from MCW Cellar Door
Outlook from MCW Cellar Door

We spent a relaxing and informative hour chatting with Joe and watching his small herd of self-shedding sheep as they chased each other through the vines. It was a perfect end to a weekend.

Sheep in the vines at MCW Cellar Door
Sheep in the vines at MCW Cellar Door

The MCW Limoncello was my choice of purchase at $35 for a bottle. It's waiting in the freezer for an appropriate occasion when I will share it with friends.

MCW Limoncello - made from Grappa
MCW Limoncello - made from Grappa
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Why? A cellar door experience with more than just good wine
When: When the signs are out (Most days. 10am-5pm - ish.)
Phone: 0481356995
Where: 2750b Victor Harbor Road Mount Compass, South Australia
Cost: $10 pp for a generous tasting of gin, grappa, whiskey and limoncello. Refundable on purchase.
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