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Harvest Time is Near at Parallel 44

by Jeff Flynt

Earlier this week, I talked with Parallel 44 and Door 44 Winery co-owner Steve Johnson about some hardware they took home this summer.

But with the Labor Day Weekend upon us, most people are closing the book on summer and turning their attention towards the fall.

For Johnson and his wife/co-owner Maria Milano, that means Harvest Fest.

I asked Steve about how the weather treated their grapes this year.

"I was thinking we were about two to three weeks behind because of the cool start to summer," says Johnson. "But this last burst of heat has really moved things along. So now I'm thinking we're 10 days behind normal."

Johnson's best guess is they're about three weeks away from harvest, which he believes could run until mid-October. 

What about the stuff on the vine?

"In terms of quantity, it's much higher and quality can quite high too if we continue to get this warmth and then cooler nights with relatively little precipitation," says Johnson. "We can irrigate the vineyards so we can avoid the stress of drought, and from this point on it's just a matter of ripening of the grapes and too much rain would be dissolution of sugars and acids."

Johnson adds that if they get a late frost, they should be on track for the best in terms of quantity and hopefully quality that they've had in Kewaunee.

The Harvest Fest itself will be Saturday September 7th from Noon until 6 p.m. 

The Traditional Grape Stomp starts at 3 p.m. If you are interested in stomping, come early and enter your name in a drawing to stomp.

Wine sampling (available for $6) includes 5 samples and a Parallel 44 logo wine glass.

Vineyard Tours will occur on the hour at 1, 2, 4 & 5 p.m. 

There will also be food vendors, live music along with some art vendors. It's a tremendous way to kick-start your fall season.