Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery was started in 2005, by husband and wife team, Steve Johnson and Maria Milano. For Steve and Maria, wine was a passion that turned into a celebration of our local grape growing and wine making industry.
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. After searching for a site with the perfect soil, sun exposure and temperatures for growing grapes, they found their Parallel 44 site in 2005. As soon as they purchased the land, they began to plant vines. Today there are approximately 7000 vines or 10 acres of grapes planted, with the goal of planting up to 25 acres.
Parallel 44 was built in 2006 and opened on Memorial Day weekend in 2007. Since then, they attribute their success to their dedicated customers, whose support has allowed Parallel 44 to grow and expand each year.
Steve is the self-taught wine maker at Parallel 44, whose passion is to produce award winning wines that just happen to come from Wisconsin. It is his belief that wine should reflect the soul of the land from which it comes - this is the French concept of Terroir. Steve, growing up in Green Bay and being a die-hard Packer fan, created the Frozen Tundra Family of Wines as a line of wines that truly celebrate the flavor of grapes from Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest wine region.
It is our passion at Parallel 44 to produce award winning wines from Wisconsin grapes. We invite you to visit both of our Wineries and Explore Your Taste!
The geographical location of our vineyard & winery was the inspiration for the name Parallel 44. We are situated on 44° North Latitude - which circles the globe, and is renowned as the world's finest grape growing and wine making region. This latitude includes the great wine regions of Bordeaux, France and Tuscany, Italy. Unlike our European counterparts we endure winters of subzero temperatures, inspiring the name of our Frozen Tundra wine. We do, however, share many similarities with these regions such as seasonal growing climate, annual rainfall, and length of daylight. 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.
At Parallel 44, we consider ourselves wine pioneers since the grape varietals we grow are relatively new to the world of wine. Our varietals are known as "Cool Climate Grapes". This means that some of our vines can withstand temperatures as low as -30° in winter, but as summer approaches they spring back to life and produce delicious wine grapes!
Cool climate varietals have the hallmark qualities of bright acidity, fruit forward aromas, and flavors that are unique to our region. The names of some of these varietals are: Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Louise Swenson, St. Pepin and Petit Pearl. These grapes are the genetic cousins of well-known varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Moscato and Riesling.
Website by: Marco