Thursday, December 18, 2014
So a typically slow time of year
in the winery has become one of urgency and hustle this
vintage. As many of you I'm sure already know, we've run out
of last year's vintage of "Drink Pink!". Not the best time of
year to run out of wine, let alone one of our most
So we've been burning the midnight oil and working hard to
get some of this year's vintage into the bottle earlier than
usual. While not impossible, it has been challenging.
And though we weren't able to totally avoid a gap between vintages,
it looks like we've managed to close the gap to only a week, and
are looking to release the new vintage this weekend. Nobody
should have to go through the holidays without their favorite wine,
and now you won't have to. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 11, 2014
The grape and wine industry of Wisconsin and the Midwest
has been around for at least 30 years and has seen exponential
growth in the past decade. However, in comparative terms with
the rest of the wine world, we here in the Wisconsin wine world are
still in our infancy. This realization struck me a few years
ago as my father and I walked the vineyards of Tuscany and tasted
the wines from their cellars. It is one thing to think about
the history of winemaking in Italy and Europe; it is quite another
to see, smell and taste first-hand the stories of families that are
telling you that they are the 8th,
generation at their particular place.
I soon realized the importance of regional style.
There is no marketing gimmick that can top the personal accounts
and stories of world famous wine regions. The uniqueness of a
region's wines were developed only after multiple generations of
experimenting and learning what grapes grew best in their part of
the world as well as what were the best ways to make and blend the
best representations of wine from their part of the world. It
is what made a Chianti a Chianti and a Bordeaux a Bordeaux.
The story will be no different here in Wisconsin. While I
am not as patient as I need to be, I realize this journey we are on
here in this state's wine industry will require the same kind of
efforts of multiple generations of grape growers and winemakers to
develop a truly unique and eventually, world famous wine
While it may be very challenging to developa new wine
region without a manual or how-to-guide, it is very satisfying to
know that we here at Parallel 44 and Door 44, are laying the
building blocks for what will someday be a world famous wine
region. The recent success of awards for our efforts at growing and
making such wines as Bubbler, Drink Pink, and Petite Pearl show
that vision, courage, and passion will lead to regionally
distinctive wines. To quote the legendary Vince Lombardi, "We will
chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all
the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The holidays are upon us, and it's one of my favorite times of
the year. At our wineries, we are celebrating the holidays
with our Holiday Open House weekends!
What better way to get ready for the holidays than to join us
for wine sampling, cheese pairings, holiday music, and
more! Enjoy the crackling bonfires at Parallel 44 or
relax to the tunes of local musicians at either of the
wineries. Get all your Christmas shopping done early
with our Holiday Boxes. Grab a pre-made box or customize your
own with local wine, chocolates, jellies, cheeses, and other great
gifts! We've put up the decorations, and now we're ready for
Give the gift of local this year! And don't forget to slip
your favorite wine into the bag as well. You deserve to treat
yourself too! I know I will be grabbing my own bottle of La
Crescent! Mmmm my favorite!
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Our Baco Noir has been released and I am so excited because it
is just in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season! Baco
Noir is the name of the grape that produced this wine and it was
grown right here in our Viticultural area called the "Wisconsin
Ledge." This is exciting because this grape can sometime be a
touch delicate for our cold weather climate.
Our Baco Noir is aromatic and flavors of ripe red berries and
black cherries, with light tannins that give it perfect structure
and balance. If you are a Pinot Noir or Burgundy lover, this
wine is a must try. Although reminiscent of these traditional
favorites it has an earthy, fruity flair that really captures the
terroir of North East Wisconsin.
Baco Noir pairs well with a wide range of foods such as salmon,
roasted chicken, pasta dishes, beef stew and TURKEY! Baco
Noir will meld well with those savory turkey flavors without over
powering and will be a perfect complement to all those
delicious sides such as cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes,
roasted vegetables and more.
I love Thanksgiving as it brings family and friend together to
share a meal and conversation. What better way to celebrate
these great times than by uncorking a bottle of Baco Noir!
Although a perfect pairing for your Thanksgiving meal it is also
the perfect wine to drink after dinner while relaxing in front of
the fireplace. Cheers!
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Give wine as a gift? I know what you're thinking, that
seems kind of impersonal. Giving a bottle of wine seems more like
something you would give someone you don't really know that well or
you were invited to someone's house unexpectedly and need a quick
gift. So how is it possible to turn a bottle of wine from an
impersonal gift to a personal one?
It's really quite simple. Just like you can pair food with wine
you can pair interests with wine too. Have a friend who loves to
cook, create a holiday gift box that combines her love to cook with
her love for wine. You could put together all of the dry
ingredients needed to make her favorite Italian meal and add a
bottle of Red Door, and find a cook book that was created for
pairing wine and food.
Is your significant other a giant movie buff? Give them a bottle
of their Favorite Parallel 44 Wine, a movie or two they are dying
to see, add in some of their favorite snacks and the promise to
watch the movies with them. As you can see giving wine
doesn't have to be impersonal it can very easily be made into a
personal gift, all it takes is a little thought. While these gift
ideas may seem very simple, trust me your friends and family
will love the thought that went into these gifts.
For those of you who like the idea of giving a wine gift box,
but don't have the time to create your own, we have the solution
for you. We offer pre-made and custom made Holiday Gift Boxes.
These boxes can be filled with wine, chocolates, candies, and other
To place a holiday gift box order you can call us at (888)
932-0044 or stop in at Parallel 44. A new feature that we have
added this year, is that you now can place your gift box orders on
online store. As an added Holiday Bonus, when you order online
shipping on all holiday gift boxes is FREE!
Well I probably should get back to working on getting all of
those holiday gift boxes filled and ready for you. Until
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!