Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Those are the three words that come to mind when I was asked to
explain the genesis of Parallel 44. On tours or in the
tasting room I frequently receive the question, "So why did you
start this place?"
It was not to start a second career. It was not because I am a
wine connisuer. It was not because this is an easy or
glamorous pursuit. No, the reason was because as I got older
I realized it was not what you did in life that mattered, but
rather it was how you do what you do that makes life such a
wonderful experience. My motivation was to start something
that was once viewed as impossible here in Wisconsin and to create
something from start to finish that many could enjoy with regional
pride for years to come.
That motivation requires one to call upon vision, courage,
and passion on a daily basis. These are the elements that should
drive all of us in our daily pursuits. The growing and making
of wine is just one expression of it. So as I take a 10
minute break here between cleaning tanks, I invite you to come see,
learn, and hopefully taste and enjoy our expression of vision,
courage, and passion.
Cheers to those who pursue the same goals!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
It is the time of year when the air is full of the smell of
fermentation and the tasting room is buzzing with customers taking
in the last remaining bit of Fall. These crisp fleeting days
of Fall cause me to think of warm fires, comfort foods and wine
shared over conversation with family and friends. Some of our
new wine releases have been perfect pairings for my Fall
I recently paired our Marquette with a hearty beef stew and
roasted acorn squash and it was spectacular. Petite Pearl I
served with eggplant parmesan and breaded beef cutlets and it was
oh so tasty. Although I love to "Explore my Taste," I still
go back to long time favorites, like grilled hamburgers and potato
chips enjoyed over a Packer Game. Also, I can never forget my
Bubbler, which is always perfect on its own or as a before dinner
drink with a cheese platter.
This Fall and upcoming holiday season I encourage you to
"Explore Your Taste" and try new recipes and wine pairings, I find
it to be one of those simple pleasures in life!
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
See, swirl, sniff…and be sophisticated. That's what wine
is about, right? Wine is about being able to describe the
bouquet as earthy with a hint of toast and to enjoy the full-bodied
oaked wine that has a spiciness in its finish. It's about
savoring the intensity of the tannins as you aerate the wine
through your teeth.
Is that really what wine is about? Not here at Parallel
44. Here, we want everyone to experience and enjoy wine.
Whether you're a wine connoisseur or brand new to the world
of wine, we invite everyone in to explore their taste with
us. Many people come in saying they don't know much about
wine, almost apologizing as if it's a huge flaw. You don't
have to know anything about wine to enjoy it! In fact, I love
when people walk in with a novice palate. It allows me to
introduce them to wines made with grapes grown here in Wisconsin
without them having a preconception of what wine "should" be
I always tell people that there is no right or wrong when
it comes to wine. What one person may smell or taste in a
wine, may be completely different from the next person. It
doesn't mean that one person is right and the other is wrong.
It simply shows that everyone is different. People come in and
sheepishly admit that they put ice in their wine. Ice in
their wine?! How terrible! But is it really? So
what if you enjoy all your reds chilled? So what if you make
a spritzer with your wine? I tell everyone that wine should
be consumed the way you enjoy it. If you don't like warm red
wine, toss an ice cube in it. Here at Parallel 44, we would
be the last to turn up our noses at you.
We use the phrase, "Explore your Taste" with us because we
want you to expand your boundaries, try new wines, and experience
what Wisconsin wines have to offer. If you take a bottle home
and put ice in it, well as long as you're still enjoying it, that's
what matters. You don't need to be a wine connoisseur to
enjoy our wines. You just need to explore your taste to find
which bottle of wine (or two or three!) you're going to take
home. So we encourage everyone, regardless of your wine
experience, to stop in at our winery and see what we have to
offer. You'd be surprised at how delicious Wisconsin wines
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Greetings from the vineyard! We nearing the end of harvest
season, and so far I am proud to report that we have been having an
excellent harvest. In a year where most vineyards in the state are
reporting lower harvest numbers, we are pulling in a bumper crop.
We pulled in almost 6 tons of Frontenac last weekend, one of our
highest harvests ever!
I would like to thank everyone who has been coming out
and helping us harvest for the past month. You all have done a
great job! We couldn't do it without you.
We have only two varieties left to be harvested, Petite Pearl
and our wild grapes. Wait, I have to correct myself. There are
three varieties left to be harvested. We are leaving 4 rows of our
white grape Louise Swenson to be harvested this winter
This will be the first time that we're using this grape for a
late harvest or icewine, in the past we've used St. Pepin for those
wines. Louise Swenson makes a delicious icewine reminiscent of
peach nectar. I can't wait. It almost makes me wish winter would
Until next time
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Hi everyone, as the
newest addition to Parallel 44, I feel like I should probably take
a few minutes to introduce myself. Let me start off by introducing
myself, my name is Sam and I am Parallel 44's new Marketing
Associate. Now, you are probably wondering what a
marketing associate does, well my job is more or less to promote
the Parallel 44 and Door 44 brands. My duties include managing
social media sites, overseeing and updating our website and blog,
creating promotional materials and well I could go on forever, but
to make a long list short, basically I handle anything and
everything related to marketing.
So how did I ended up here at Parallel 44.
Let's start off with where I'm from, I grew up right in between
Parallel 44 and Door 44, in Algoma. I recently graduated from the
University of Wisconsin Green Bay, with a degree in Business
Administration with a Marketing emphasis. Prior to coming to
Parallel I worked for 8 years in the retail industry.
During college my two internships
focused heavily on digital marketing. After graduating from
college, I work for as a marketing coordinator, at grocery store
that was starting a digital marketing program. After establishing
their marketing program I began searching for a marketing
opportunity where I could follow my real passion, traditional
marketing. As Fate would have it I ended up at Parallel 44. Where I
get to opportunity to utilize the digital marketing skills that I
already have and also get to do traditional marketing.
Now I'm going to be completely honest, I never would have
predicted that I would end up working for a winery, let alone a
winery in Wisconsin. Now that I'm here though, I won't be
leaving anytime soon. While the setting and view are
truly beautiful they aren't what will be keeping me in this
industry for years to come.
There is a lot of work to be
done in regards to marketing in this industry. While, marketing in
any industry is key, in the wine industry marketing is really is
truly crucial part; the wine industry is fractured, market shares
are small and more wineries are opening all the time. Building a
brand and promoting it is one of the keys needed for success in
this industry, well along with having a great product.
As a winery in Wisconsin we have our
own unique set of advantages and disadvantage when it comes to
marketing, but we can dig into that topic more in a future post.
Well I guess this is all I really have to say for this introduction
Until next time, Cheers!
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Wisconsin Wines Win!!!
We would just like to take a few moments to express our
excitement and gratitude over the recent announcement of awards
from the Wisconsin Professional Wine Competition. Last month, we
were pleased to learn that our La Crescent wine won Best Wisconsin
Wine. In addition to receiving Best Wisconsin White Wine, we
were also awarded Best Wisconsin Red Wine for our Petite Pearl and
Best Wisconsin Sparkling Wine for our Bubbler.
One of the reasons this competition was so important to us is
that this competition focused on wines that were grown and produced
here in Wisconsin. It has always been our mission to provide
you with Wisconsin wines from 'vine to glass' and this competition
highlights this goal.
We submitted 24 wines from both Parallel 44 and Door 44 and all
24 wines received a medal. We are very grateful for this and
we want to thank you for your support in our mission of growing and
producing Wisconsin wine from vine to glass. It is this
focus, and your appreciation of it, that will lead us soon to
putting Wisconsin on the map for some of the best wines in the
Thank you and Cheers!
Steve and Maria
Thursday, May 29, 2014
This recent warm weather is doing wonders for my mood and for
our grapes! Summer now seems a possibility and sitting on the
patio with a glass of refreshing Bubbler is quickly becoming my new
I must admit, my new favorite wine is Door 44 Bubbler! I
have always been a sparkling wine fan and am in favor of drinking
sparkling wine on a regular basis. Steve and I often share a
bottle of sparkling wine at home and are never too shy to order one
when we dine out. I always smile when the waiter pops the
cork and neighboring tables look over and inquiry about the special
occasion. I smile and like to tell people that we are just
Sparkling wine, with its effervescences, is so refreshing, and
it really is the perfect pairing with cheese, seafood, sushi, green
salads and more (I personally can pair it with anything!). So
those of you who are still set on its celebratory characteristics,
I encourage you to grab a bottle of Bubbler and treat every day as
a cause for celebration.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
So what's been going on in the vineyard? Well I've
been busy pruning all of the vines and I am happy to report that
I'm over 3/4 done already! I might have been all done already
had the weather been more agreeable, but the cold weather has not
only been slowing down my progress, it's been slowing the
grapevines' as well, so I'm not in any danger of falling
behind. Until the daytime temperatures get to and stay over
50 degrees, the vines aren't going to start budding out anytime
soon. As much as I personally would like things to warm up
(doesn't everybody?!), the vineyard manager in me is kind of happy
that we've eased into spring. The longer into spring it takes
the grapes to bud out, the less likely they are to get nipped by a
late spring frost. Considering that our vines have gotten
slightly singed by late spring frosts the past two seasons, I would
welcome a season where our crop isn't reduced by frost. You
should too. More grapes = more wine!
Vineyard Manager / Cellar Assistant
Friday, April 04, 2014
You may be wondering what one does at a vineyard and winery at
the end of one of our coldest winters here on the Frozen Tundra of
Wisconsin. Well believe it or not, the pruning of the vines
has already commenced. The goal is to start and finish with all
7000 vines before they start to wake up with the warmer
temperatures of early spring.
But in the meantime, a very special wine has been vinted and
prepared for bottling with an anticipated special release on April
26. This one of kind wine is being released under the label
"Vin du Nord" meaning "Wine of the North". This is truly a New
World wine in that it is made from the newest wine region of the
world from the newest modern varietals like Marquette and Frontenac
Gris. We fermented this wine in a style which I believe is
new to the world of winemaking. I will expound on this later, but
for the time being let me say it looks and tastes like a red wine,
but has the citrusy aromatics of a crisp white wine.
I invite you to celebrate the Vin du Nord as the perfect way to
toast goodbye to this harshest of winters and greet the long
awaited promise of spring.
Steve - Owner & Winemaker
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Spring is here! I know it may not seem like it is, but
surely it has to warm up sometime soon! I suppose this is
what we get if we choose to live in Wisconsin! For me, spring
means green grass and colorful flowers. Weather is getting
warmer, and away goes our big winter coats. At Parallel 44,
it also means that the vineyard is starting to wake up, and more
people are taking advantage of the beautiful view on our patio.
With snow still on the ground, it may be hard to imagine
sipping a glass of wine outside, overlooking the vineyard.
But if you can ignore the wind that still nips at your nose and
pretend the white blanket on the ground is fading fast, you may see
the beauty that is right around the corner.
Grab a glass of our recently released Drink Pink! and enjoy its
flavors of fresh raspberries, strawberries, and pink
grapefruit. Or try our newest release Glacier Fumé. You
won't be disappointed with this crisp, refreshing semi-sweet
wine. Its honey aromatics and tropical fruit flavors are sure
to please! Whichever wine you choose, bring family and
friends and relax outside on our patio. The sunsets are beautiful
as you watch it set over our 10 acre vineyard.
As for me, I will be rejoicing that the snow is finally leaving
and spring is starting to show its true colors. Our season is
picking up so that means more wonderful customers stopping in to
learn about our history and brand, sampling our award-winning
wines, and partaking in the journey of enjoying the new wine
releases. Starting in April, we are back to our regular
season hours and will be open 7 days a week. If you haven't
stopped out to try our new releases or the next vintage of Nouveau
Rouge, it's well worth the trip! I look forward to hearing
your story over a glass of delicious Parallel 44 wine!