One of my favourite things about wineries in PEC is that many operate out of absolutely stunning and painstakingly restored barns, and Karlo Estates is no exception. Opened to the public in 2010 by co-founders Richard and Sherry Karlo, their tasting room/event space is set in a gorgeous 1805 barn on a property that was once owned by famed Loyalist, Peter Van Alstine (which I was very excited to learn as I am fascinated by the history of PEC!!).
While I don't consider myself a wine expert, I do know what I like and we have tried a number of great wines at this winery over the years. Most recently we tried the Patio Reserve Rosé which was quite good, but I have to say that I think my favourite is their Van Alstine fortified wine (both red and white). Karlo Estates was the first winery in the region to produce this Port-style wine, and while I don't think they have the right to actually call it a "Port" (sort of like not being able to call a sparkling wine “Champagne” unless it is from the actual region), in my humble opinion, both are very good Ports - there, I said it!
Aside from the terrific wines and the gorgeous tasting room, guests are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunches that can be paired with a glass of wine to enjoy on their beautiful property. Fun fact - Karlo Estates boasts North America's largest dry stone bridge. How romantic is that?!? One more fun fact, and I find this really interesting - Karlo Estates is the first vegan-certified winery in the world. Who even know that could be a thing?!? You can read more about it HERE.
A number of wineries close their barns for the winter season, but not Karlo! The barn is heated, they are open all week AND they even stay open until 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday for cosy and fun loungey-nights. Check their website below for official times.
Two years ago, while leafing through the pages of the National Post, I was deeply saddened and quite stunned to learn that Richard Karlo had passed away. I immediately jumped online where I saw an outpouring of love, respect and support from the community for both Richard and for Sherry. The wine business is certainly not for the faint of heart, and I have a huge amount of respect for Sherry for not only keeping the winery running, but it appears to be thriving. In 2015, she invited esteemed winemaker, Derek Barnett, to join the fold and he evidently is doing a wonderful job. Kudos to Sherry and her entire team at Karlo Estates.
Karlo Estates is located at 561 Danforth Road, in Wellington, ON.
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