Winter is Being Stubborn

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter is being stubborn. Like a clueless party guest, winter has a tendency to linger much longer than the host would like.  I'll still take our current winter over the horrors of last year however.  Up until the past couple of weeks I had been pretty confident in the ability of our vines to shrug off the winter cold, but it's been dropping down pretty low at night these past few weeks into the minus teens.

Bob and bud

Bob checking a Marechal Foch vine for winter damage


dead bud

Picture of a dead bud

So again I've resorted to a technique I used last winter to assess winter damage to the vines.  I'm taking in cuttings of vines and cutting the buds in half with a razor blade to examine them through a magnifying glass.  This procedure allows me to see whether the buds are alive or dead.  If the bud is alive, it appears green and vibrant, and if it has been killed by the cold, it appears blackish brown.  Of all of our vines, the variety Marechal Foch is the most susceptible to the cold temperatures, and that is why I check it first for dead buds.  I just checked a sample this morning, and I am glad to report that winter damage is minimal, about 15% of the buds are dead, and while that may sound bad, it shouldn't have any impact on the amount of crop that we produce this upcoming vintage, and I won't have to adjust my pruning program either.

bob in Vineyard

As for pruning, now is the time to start, and I've actually been out there in subzero wind chills doing some trimming. It's been slow going, but believe it or not, I love doing it - even with the wind burning my cheeks.  With the days getting longer I know and take solace that winter's hold is slipping no matter how frigid things are at present...that and Tundra Fest is coming up this Saturday!  Hope to see you there!


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Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy Great Wines

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Greetings Parallel 44 and Door 44 fans,

With a passion for offering highest quality wines at Parallel44 and Door44, our  wines have become increasingly popular with local wine enthusiasts and a must stop for locals and tourists on the Door County Wine Trail. Parallel 44 and Door 44 offer distinctive award-winning wines ranging from sophisticated reds to elegant whites and specialty wines that will delight the most discriminating palates.


Visitors who come to Parallel 44 and Door 44 for a wine tasting, a glass, bottle or case of wine are welcome to enjoy our patio or deck.  Wine samplers are welcome to sit back, take a breath and relax with friends, family and wine.  The tasting rooms include custom built wine bars for tasting each of our wines, guided by the knowledge of educated and friendly staff, a patio for sipping wines on lazy summer days, and a beautiful bar area for lingering during chilly days in the winter.  Sometimes visitors like to sit back and enjoy a glass of wine by our vineyard at Parallel 44 to take in the spectacular scenic sunset.  Three or four generations of families will sit by the tables outside or stand in our tasting rooms.

Couple by vineyard

We invite you to visit the winery and enjoy a glass of wine with friends to celebrate a special event or just relax and enjoy the view.  We strive to make your experience enjoyable, memorable and relaxing no matter what the occasion.  It is our pleasure to share our dream and passion for wines with you and see you in the tasting room.



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Sneak Peak to Frozen Tundra Wine Fest

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I invite you all to join us for our 6th Annual Frozen Tundra Wine Fest on Saturday, February 28th. Enjoy wine, live music, food, vendors, tours, horse carriage rides, and more! Oh, and did I mention, it's an outdoor festival! Dress warm and come celebrate being a hardy Wisconsinite! See you there!




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Pairing Wine and Food Guidelines (Not Rules)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Pciture for Feb

A wine or a food each on its own has a certain flavor, but when you combine the two, they create a completely new flavor.  Pairing wine and food should be a fun and tasty experience, but often people feel anxious about pairing, as if there are rules that cannot be broken.

First, always eat what you like and drink what you like.  Even if you are told that something pairs perfectly, if you don't like the flavors when they are separate, you still are not going to like the flavors when they come together.  Next, don't be afraid to explore.  With food and wine pairing, there are only guidelines, no rules.  Everyone tastes things differently, so your palate never lies -- let it be your own personal guide.  Last, crisp white wines or light bodied red wines pair well with a large variety of foods, making it easy to explore.  Bold oaky reds have their place with bold foods such as wild game stew or grilled steak, but all too often they can overpower the delicate flavors of food.  In most cases, look to lighter wines to pair with food.  Italian, French and Wisconsin grapes tend to produce red wines that are lighter and slightly acidic and white wines that are crisper, making wines from these regions perfect pairs for a variety of foods including foods with red tomato sauce such as pizza or pasta, creamy cheese (even cheese curds), seafood, pork chops, and chicken.  Cheers and Bon Appétit!

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Enjoy the winter with a glass of Port Style Wine from Parallel 44!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Steve with Frontenac

One of the wines from our vineyards here at Parallel 44 that I take great pleasure and pride in, is our Frontenac Dessert wine.  This is a port style wine.  So why doesn't the label say "port"?  Around 10 years ago the law on labeling prohibited the use of the term 'port' unless the wine was grown in the country of Portugal.   On one hand, this frustrated me because if you have ever had Frontenac Dessert wine you will know that it has all the classic characteristics of port wine in that it is sweeter, higher in alcohol (17%), and offers notes of chocolate and oak.  On the other hand, I have come to appreciate the importance of regional authenticity and there is no doubt that the Portuguese wine makers have been refining and perfecting this style since the mid-18th century.

I take pride in the fact that our very first vintage from the vines here at Parallel 44 was our production of Meditation Wine from the Fall of 2007.  It sold very quickly, so fast that I failed to keep back enough bottles for our own library.  The last bottle I enjoyed was nearly three years ago, and it was among the best wine I have enjoyed in my life. I wish I still had another bottle, so much so that if anyone still has one left I would be willing to buy it back from you.

Frontenac Dessert

The current vintage being sold is the 2012 vintage called Frontenac Dessert wine.  It received a Silver Medal in the International Cold Climate Wine Competition this past August.  It is made with 100% estate grown Frontenac and it shines as a quality wine with a regional style that has broad appeal. What I love about it is that it expresses flavors of Bing and Black Cherry and finishes with notes of nuts and chocolate.  But the most interesting thing for me is that this wine demonstrates how wines from this region really show how they can evolve and develop more nuanced expressions over time as it ages.

Enjoy the winter season with a glass of Frontenac Dessert wine.  During the month of February you can enjoy a free sampling of this wine along a small piece of chocolate and explore your taste  with this great wine from the vineyards of Parallel 44

Cheers fellow Port Wine Lovers!


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Wine and Food Pairings are coming to Parallel 44!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Greetings everyone, it's time to check up with you and find out how you are doing with your New Year's Resolution. Are you still trying to Explore Your Taste? If you are great, share with me how you are Exploring your Taste. If you've fallen off track don't feel bad, I've got an easy way for you to get back on track.

A wine and food pairing is an easy way to get back on track to Exploring Your Taste. I'll admit that trying to pair food and wine at first can be a little intimidating. If you want to try a food and wine pairing but are a little hesitant about doing it yourself, come out to the winery and try one of our wine and food flights. Starting in February, we will be offering wine and food flights at Parallel 44.

Our Wine & Cheese and Wine & Chocolate Flights were such a big hit during our Holiday Open House that we will be continuing to offer them.  Along with the Cheese and Chocolate wine flights we will also be adding a few other wine and food pairings.

Our wine and food pairings will be begin February 3rd and will be available every Saturday until the end of May. To kick off our Food & Wine Pairing Series we will be offering a special couples pairing along with our regular wine & food pairing. I hope you are as excited as I am about these upcoming wine and food pairings. Make sure you share with me your favorite wine and food pairing!



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Wine & Packers My Two Favorite Things

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tammy & Tundra WInes

When I first started at Parallel 44 Winery, my knowledge and experience of wine was quite lacking. I thought wine was more for sophisticated people...those that could pick out the different nuances in the bouquet and talk big words about how the wine lingers on their palate. Through the course of learning how wine is made - starting from the blood, sweat, and tears shed in the vineyard to the endless hours and trials to perfect the balance of the acid and sugars in the lab to the finished product filling up the wine bottles - I have gained not only great knowledge but also a huge appreciation and love for wine.


Growing up in Green Bay, I have always had great love and support for our Packers. There are so many things to look forward to on those football Sundays:  the smell of burgers and brats from tailgating, screaming 'De-Fence' at the top of my lungs, victory shots for every touch down, doing a happy dance when we win, and much more.


Now, I can combine two of my favorite things together - Wine and Packers. For those of you who have never had a Parallel 44 wine, I strongly encourage you to try the Frozen Tundra wines! Not only are they fruit-forward, well-balance, and absolutely delicious, what better way to enjoy a Green Bay Packer game than with a glass (or bottle) of Frozen Tundra Wine!  So as you get your green and gold gear on this Sunday and prep all your tailgating food, don't forget to grab a bottle or two or three of Frozen Tundra Wine to add to your celebrations.


Go Pack Go!

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New Year’s Resolution, Explore Your Taste!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New years

Happy New Year everyone!  Hopefully you are surviving the cold weather that came along with the New Year. So besides the cold, January also brought plenty of New Year's Resolutions like losing weight, getting fit, kicking a bad habit, or spending less and saving more. Let's be honest - most of us don't last very long with our New Year's Resolution, myself included, but this year I'm determined to stick to it. So what's my New Year's Resolution? Well it's to Explore my Taste and expand my wine horizon. I challenge you to join me on my New Year's Resolution and Explore Your Taste.

So how does one get started exploring their taste? With so many different ways to Explore Your Taste, there really is no right or wrong way. If you need a little help to get you started, here are a few simple ways you can Explore Your Taste.

  1. Try a wine from a different wine region.
  2. Try a wine whose flavor profile is different from what you normally drink. If you are a sweet wine drinker, try a slightly drier wine or vice versa
  3. Pair wine with food and enjoy the flavors that are brought out in the wine when eaten with different foods.
  4. Experiment with cooking with wine. Add a little bit of red wine to your next pasta sauce and taste the difference it makes.

These are just a few ways that you can Explore Your Taste. There are many more ways for you to Explore Your Taste. This is where you come in; we want you to share how you are Exploring Your Taste this year!

Happy Exploring!



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Christmas Comes Early to Parallel 44

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Drink pink

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 popular!

Drink pink labeling

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!

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Developing a Regional Wine Style

Thursday, December 11, 2014

steve and dad 2

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, 9th, 10th 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 region.

Vision Courage Passion

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 excellence."



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N2185 Sleepy Hollow Rd.
Kewaunee, WI 54216

(920) 388-4400
(888) 932-0044

(920) 388-4400     (888) 932-0044     N2185 Sleepy Hollow Road | Kewaunee, WI 54216