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Karlo Estates Van Alstine White

I usually talk about the winery experience but sometimes, there are spectacular wines deserve special mention. This is one of my favourite fortified white “port style” wines to finish a dinner celebration.

When I wrote this blog in 2014  nine months before the much beloved owner winemaker Richard Karlo died. His beautiful wife Sherry Karlo has kept his dream alive and Richard’s Van Alstine Red and Van Alstine white have been joined by a Van Alstine rosé in 2018 designed by the new wine maker Derek Barnett.Van_Alstine_White 2

The wine:  Karlo Estates Van Alstine White
A fortified port style wine made from a blend of Frontenac Blanc and Traminette 17 % alc.
The  winery:  Karlo Estates Winery 
A beautiful old barn winery dating back to the 1840’s near Wellington, Prince Edward County
The owner / winemaker:  Richard Karlo
Richard Karlo began as an amateur winemaker achieving the rank of master winemaker before deciding to start his own winery. He is one of the Wine Judges of Canada and is known for experimental wines and winemaking techniques.
The awards and accolades
Gold at Intervin 2011 for fortified wine.
Described by the Cellar Sisters as “Heaven in a glass”
Michael Pinkus in the Ontario Wine Review “Another special wine from the mind of this madman [Richard Karlo]. Rating : ****+”
Konrad Ejbich on Ontario Morning CBC. “lovely all round wine. Good for an aperitif” Super mixed with Wiser’s Spice Whisky :1/3 whisky  to 2/3 port to make a Manhattan style drink  I call “The Wellington”

Why I chose this wine:
I love visiting Karlo Estates, the heritage barn is beautiful and the renovations spectacular. Karlo Estates give possibly the best wine touring experience in Prince Edward County and if you are lucky enough to have either Richard or his partner, Sherry Martin, conduct the tasting, it’s unforgettable.

Sherry Martin and Richard Karlo  and cat

Sherry Martin, Richard Karlo and Boozie 2 the cat

Richard Karlo is a very eclectic winemaker who experiments with different styles of fermentation, maceration and oaking and he appeals to many different palates. Not all his wines appeal to my tastes but the ones I  like – I really like. This white port always comes home with me when I visit.

The tasting notes say, “The nose is reminiscent of fresh apricots, lychee and hints of rose petal. On the palate mandarin orange and lemon pie interplay with a kiss of hazelnut.”  That just about nails it.

Karlo Estate old barn winery

Karlo Estate old barn winery

Their promotional material says it mixes well with soda water as a spritz  or in a cocktail with 3 parts Hinterland White Cap charnat sparkling.  Personally,  I love it either as a dessert wine with panna cotta and fruit or just sipped after dinner in place of a liqueur.It is perfect as a hostess gift but you really won’t want to give it away.

Because the wine is made from non-approved VQA hybrids, it is unfortunately only available through the winery shop or by ordering online.$29 bottle

Other blogs about Karlo Estates
Where do Wine Flavours Come From?
My Wine tastes of Chocolate!
The Pros and Cons of a Barn Winery

What’s your favourite Karlo Estates wine? Leave a comment below.


  1. One of my favourite wines from a fabulous winery to visit to beat the winter blahs or to enjoy a summer afternoon in the country. Love the Quintus and the Pinot Gris is a wonderful white!

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