Meet the Vintner: Mike Doilney of Parallel Wines

Makers, Meet, Wine Country

Meet the Vintner: Mike Doilney of Parallel Wines

This month we’re spotlighting the vintners behind some of our favorite wines in our Williams-Sonoma Wine shop. See them all here!


Parallel Wines is the product of a partnership between ten people that began in Park City, Utah. Founded by Mike Doilney, his wife Toni, and four other couples, the Parallel Napa Valley label was inspired by the lines carved in the snow by skis on the first run of the day. It reflects the group’s 12 years of planting, tending, harvesting and making Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the parallel rows of vines in the Napa and Russian River Valleys.


Tell us about the partners behind Parallel.

Parallel is now into its second decade… and has added so much depth to our decades of friendship, forged in Park City. Steve, Val, Mac and Ann continue to reside and work in Park City. Mike and Toni relocated to St. Helena nearly 10 years ago after a wonderful 30 years in Park City. Bulent and Mary split time enjoying their homes in Istanbul and Park City. All of us are passionately involved in Parallel and spend quite a bit of time in Napa Valley and many other communities across the country meeting new friends and supporting causes close to our hearts.


How did the group transition from Park City to Napa and the world of wine?

We unknowingly have been integrating into the Napa Valley for decades. However, the physical transition began in 1999. The original three couples found ourselves in Napa Valley early in the summer of 1999 and being Deer Valley/Park City real estate pros, of course we found ourselves looking at vineyard properties. We had all visited Napa often and had enjoyed many ski days in Park City around the fireplace with a glass of Napa Valley wine. We seem to be irresistibly drawn to both valleys. By the late summer of 1999 we owned our first vineyard property and began prepping and planting within just a few months. We decided to make our dreams come true. It has been a very rewarding journey for all of us.


Parallel CabernetWhat is unique about your wines? How would you describe them?

Most importantly, our Cabernets are 100% Napa Valley and our Chardonnay is 100% Russian River. In our opinion, these are the best appellations for the wines we produce, and the vineyards we employ are among the best in these appellations — a very important factor in the final product. In addition, we feel that the partners and the winemaker are also a crucial part of the terroir. Together, we really enjoy the whole process and we bring that joy to every facet of producing and sharing Parallel and our experiences with our fans.


Which one do you go to most often?

We like all of our wines, but each partner may have his/her own favorite wines and vintages. We did make it easy to enjoy all of our wines, regardless of the situation. For example, Toni loves Russian River Chardonnay and Mike loves Napa Valley Cabernet. The solution: a half bottle of each. Mac and Ann seem to entertain often and find magnums of Cabernet bring a smile to everyone.


What’s your favorite way to enjoy your wines? With what foods?

All of us will have opinions, but for me, the Russian River Chardonnay is a great pairing with roasted chicken or seafood risotto, while the Cabernet pairs extremely well with steak or lamb. But we all live casual lifestyles and we manage to share Cabernet at most meals, whether it is pizza or hamburgers! Actually, I especially enjoy a glass of either Cabernet or Chardonnay during “cocktail hour,” while we make dinner.


What does a typical day at work look like for you?

The partners all contribute to the daily work, but the heavy lifting is done by the farmers, winemakers and our highly valued sales and business development manager, Lindsay Faith Weinhold. As for the partners, Mike coordinates production and does work on our graphics and website, while Mac coordinates our marketing and Val coordinates our event participation. Of course, there are many issues relating to sales, production and long-term planning that our management team tackles daily.


What do you love most about working with wine?

There are so many answers to this question, but the common denominator is sharing our experience and wine with others. We are able to connect with others, anywhere in the world, because of our involvement in a Napa Valley winery. It allows us to reasonably provide terrific support for our causes through charitable events. What I have always loved was creating a product that comes from the soil, water and sun — a product that we are proud to share with friends and enriches our lives.


Shop Parallel Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and meet more of our Williams-Sonoma Wine vintners.

One comment about “Meet the Vintner: Mike Doilney of Parallel Wines

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