Door 44 Winery opened in June 2013. It is the sister winery to Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery. Parallel 44 was started in 2005 by husband and wife team, Steve Johnson and Maria Milano.
For Steve and Maria, wine making and grape-growing was a dream that turned into a commercial venture. They had a vision that grapes could be grown here in Wisconsin that made delicious wines, and they believed this region would one day be known for producing quality grown wines. Although it took courage for Steve and Maria to begin this venture, their passion for regional wines continues as they keep producing award winning wines that are pleasing to consumers.
Steve grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin where his father Carl experimented early on with growing grapes in Wisconsin. Maria grew up in Stevens Point, Wisconsin where her Italian born father continued his tradition of making wine for friends and family celebrations. Both developed an early appreciation and love for wine!
Steve and Maria met while in school at Madison and then attended law school together. While working as attorneys, they attended seminars on grape growing in Wisconsin. Driven by their vision for quality locally grown grape wines, they continued searching for a site with the perfect soil, sun exposure and temperatures for growing grapes, they found their current site for their vineyard in 2005. They purchased the land, and planted vines immediately. Today, they are 7000 vines or 10 acres of grapes, With the goal of planting up to 25 acres at their current location.
In an effort to bring our unique wines to more people, Steve & Maria opened our sister winery, Door 44 in 2013. This winery is located in the heart of Door County, making it the perfect place to share our Wisconsin grown wines. Since opening in 2013, we attribute the success of Door 44 to their dedicated customers, whose support has allowed Door 44 to grow and expand each year.
Just like their sister winery, Parallel 44, Door 44's geographical location was the inspiration behind its name. We are situated on 44° North Latitude - the same latitude that many of the world's famous grape growing and wine making regions; which includes Bordeaux, France and Tuscany, Italy. While we share many similarities with our European counterparts including seasonal growing climate, annual rainfall, and length of daylight, there is one major difference, we endure winters of subzero temperatures. It is our inspiration to share this latitude with our counterparts, while celebrating our own unique tradition of growing grapes on the "Frozen Tundra" of Wisconsin.
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