You’re invited to celebrate the upcoming grape harvest at Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery by attending their annual Harvest Fest, slated for the afternoon of Saturday, September 12. The winery is located in the burg of Kewaunee, between Green Bay and Door County. This event showcases the winery’s grape filled vineyard just waiting to be harvested.
Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery was started in 2005 by husband and wife team Steve Johnson and Maria Milano, pioneers in Wisconsin wine making.
Steve grew up in Green Bay, ergo a die-hard Packer fan, where his father experimented early on with growing grapes in Wisconsin. Maria came to the winemaking tradition honestly too, as her Italian-born father made wine for family celebrations. The winery is on the same latitude as the storied wine regions of Bordeaux, France and Tuscany, Italy – thus the name Parallel 44.
It’s located in the American Viticultural Area (AVA) known as the Wisconsin Ledge Appellation for the Niagara Escarpment ledge that dominates the landscape in the region. The winery’s 35-acre estate includes more than 7,000 vines and counting.
The winery’s cold-hardy grape vines can withstand minus 30 degree temperatures in the winter and still rebound beautifully in the summer. There are nearly 25 wines in the line-up now; they’re available for purchase at the winery, online at parallel44.com and at select retailers and restaurants throughout Wisconsin.
It was the summer of 2013 when Maria and Steve opened their second winery, Door 44, on the northern outskirts of Sturgeon Bay, the gateway to the Door County peninsula.
Interestingly, it’s also located on the 44th latitude, and just as with Parallel 44, Door 44 specializes in wines made from grapes grown in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest and are available at the winery and at a handful of select retailers.
The address for Door 44 is 4020 State Highway 42 / 57, Sturgeon Bay.
Wine sampling during Harvest Fest will be available for purchase, and includes a commemorative tasting glass.
Along with wine sampling there will be vineyard tours, live music, numerous local food vendors. Plus you’ll find art vendors displaying and selling their crafts.
And the real crowd pleaser, the Traditional Grape Stomp! It starts at 3 pm with radio personality “Katie” from WIXX as this year’s local celebrity guest stomper! If you are interested in stomping, come early and enter your name in a drawing to stomp.
Brand new this year, after their Traditional Grape Stomp, there will be a Kid’s Grape Stomp. Children ages 8 – 14 can enter their name for a chance to stomp, there will also be games and a kids grape juice tasting. Last year’s event drew nearly 1,000 wine fans.
Admission is free. No reservation is required. For those wishing to spend the night, the winery has partnered with Fox Hills Resort in Mishicot to offer a Harvest Fest Package that includes hotel accommodations, fest tickets and transportation to and from the winery. For more info, call 888-932-0044.
- Best Overall Wine in Wisconsin(Parallel 44’s Petite Pearl), also Best in Division (Parallel 44’s Frozen Tundra Original), Best Red Wine (Parallel 44’s Petite Pearl) and Best Sparkling Wine (Door 44’s Bubbler) at the 2015 Wisconsin Professional Wine Competition
- Best Overall Wine in Wisconsin (Parallel 44’s La Crescent), Best White Wine (Parallel 44’s La Crescent), Best Red Wine (Parallel 44’s Petite Pearl) and Best Sparkling Wine (Door 44’s Bubbler) at the 2014 Wisconsin Professional Wine Competition.
- Best Sparkling Wine, 2014 International Cold Climate Wine Competition – Door 44’s Bubbler.
- Best Wisconsin White Wine (Parallel 44’s Frozen Tundra White) and Most Double Gold awards, 2013 Wisconsin Professional Wine Competition.