Andrew Quady, Owner of Quady Vineyards

Paul Kalemkiarian talks wine with owner of Quady Vineyards, Andrew Quady.

Paul: Hey! Welcome to the continue wine making series here at the wine of the month club and thrilled because I got an email this morning that Andrew Quady was coming here for Quady Vineyards and this guy is iconic, do you know that?

Andrew: No, I didn't know

Paul: Did you know that? You're iconic in the wine business!

Andrew: Thank you, that's a great compliment

Paul: I did one of the first wines that, I was exposed to at the wine of the month club when I was working with my father was working back in 1988, was either the Eleasiumor the Assensiur I can't remember but we have featured 2 or 3 over the years, but so happy you're here to join us

Andrew: Well, the pleasure is mine

Paul: Thank You.

Andrew: Thank You.

Paul:Uhm, but specializes in, what was the first wine you guys made up?

Andrew: First wine I made of was a Zinfandel port

Paul: really?

Andrew: First vintage 1975

Paul:Uhm. really '75, so a Zinfandel port, you had to be one of the pioneers in port making in California besides Comozon and those things you know

Andrew: I don't really think that anybody had actually done a vintage port

Paul: Oh really?

Andrew: In the traditional way where it's bottled within 2 years of the vintage and then aged a long time in the bottle, they were vintage dated ports but I might one of the first, if not the first person to vintage port that was supposed to be bottled and form a crust in a bottle and all that

Paul: But you graduated from UC Davis in '73 right?

Andrew: Yes

Paul: With your masters

Andrew: masters

Paul: And so, to make wine

Andrew: food science and oenology

Paul: and Oenology, okay; so in your first vintage was in '75 so why would you choose a dessert wine as it were and going into the whole industry because it's a tricky industry

Andrew: Paul, I didn't really think I was going to have my own winery

Paul: well I see..

Andrew: I was working for another guy that was about my fourth job in '75 which is pretty good for being out of school for two years

Paul: That's really let them try that these days

Andrew: but some friends, do you remember Darryl Corti?

Paul: Oh, yeah..

Andrew: So Darryl asked me to make him some wine,

Paul: yeah, Interesting

Andrew:he said "i got a bunch of friends to form a consortium " and the result was that '75 port, And I made 1600 cases of that

Paul: wow, that's a lot actually

Andrew:and it was a lot more than Darryl wanted actually


Andrew: the smallest tank was thirty thousand gallons that we could crush into and I wanted to have at least 2 feet of the bottom of the tank so that was a 25 ton load of grapes that went into that

Paul: wow

Andrew: and I got in, that's how I got into wine business because Darryl took about a 100 cases and I had none left to sell

Paul: that was his Corti brothers in Sacramento I think is that where the shop was

Andrew: yeah, he had like about 2 or 3 stores in Sacramento at that time

Paul: yeah, it's a prolific wine shop actually

Andrew: yeah

Paul: very famous and so then you decided well I like this port idea, and you came up with a and we're going to taste a few of yours here.

Andrew: so the next thing was Essensia after that and I was making the port how the Essensia came about was this, I had a job at that time working for a winery in Madera called Heublein the big spirit company they have a winery there and they own the Italian Swiss colony brand and stuff so I was working there and making a lot more port that I can sell and the winery was just full of ports so I had to take a year off and not make any but then I discovered this great orange Muscat and we made 300 cases of Essensia in 1980 that was the first vintage and within 3 to 4 years we were selling more of this than we were port because this sort of just gone to home in people's hearts or something and they like it

Paul: It really is iconic, and we had it in the store I think if you walk into a cost plus and you see this used to be floor stacked all the time but you know the consistency of this wine is what's so amazing, it tastes the same.

Andrew: yeah, very good wine maker

Paul: great job

Andrew: yeah very good wine maker who is a very persnickety character and thanks to him and our grower and yeah.

Paul: you would chill this down and serve it, it really is a dessert wine what's the sugar content?

Andrew: and the Elysium, sugar is about 14 I think, percent. And the Elysium is the next interesting wine that's sort of a landmark

Paul: classic

Andrew: this a great variety called the Black Muscat and so the wine actually smells like roses and leechy

Paul: Amazing..

Andrew: it is fun, huh?

Paul: this is been around since'80

Andrew: first vintage was '83, Elysium was '84

Paul: I remember

Andrew: Elysium are great with desserts

Paul: here's the problem, the problem is I am supposed to go next door at 5 o'clock and workout

Andrew: yeah

Paul: so I got to work out all this sugar but it's so good, I don't want to spit it out its so good

Andrew: Well they're good, yeahh

Paul: so we have a new project that we are working on

Andrew: so we should do the, let's do the Electra and Red Electra and let's do the vermouth

Paul: yeah

Andrew: so this is Electra named because the wine is so light and delicate it's like electricityin your mouth

Paul: ooh, that's prolific

Andrew: because of the carbonization, little bubbles in there and it's like electricity

Paul:well this is such a hot market right? I mean Muscato like Stella Rosa's is a Muscato which is you see, I mean those guys are all over the place, but this I really like this wine, it's a great balance it's not too bubbly and it's not too sweet

Andrew: yeah, exactly! Well, acidity is what gives it really. It is pretty sweet but it's got lots of acidity so it tastes balanced, so refreshing! Its only 4% alcohol you can freeze it

Paul: Really

Andrew: We have a frozen wine that way.

Paul: So, it gets slushy because the alcohol is quite freeze all the way?

Andrew: Yeah.

Paul: Really fun.

Andrew: And then we have a red version of this.

Paul: And you sold out of this, right?

Andrew: We're sold out of – this is going to be running out very shortly for a short period of time.

Paul: So, the next vintages is due out.

Andrew: Probably April maybe.

Paul: Then really it's kind of interesting your vintage port. We talked about this off cam a little but most of these most things are non-vintage. They don't really care but this is a great...

Andrew: A bit vintage state so that the people know old it is. So, the Red Electra wine has a funny story about this. But a lot of people even back when we first made this which was in 1995, okay, there's a lot of Americans who like sweet red wines and so, when I would take my Electra to certain markets for example at Brooklyn –

Paul: Wow.

Andrew: - there is a lot of Russian people living.

Paul: Yes, yes.

Andrew: And in Southern Illinois and Indiana people would say you're Electra is really great but is there any way you can make it red?

Paul: That's so interesting.

Andrew: And so, I would love this wine. Just keep the taste the same but if it was just red. And so, -

Paul: This is Black Muscat?

Andrew: We'd used some Black Muscat and we blend it with the Orange Muscat and we came up with the Red Electra.

Paul: Amazing.

Andrew: And now, in those markets, some of those markets the Red Electra out sells the white four or five to one.

Paul: Well, that's interesting because how many years it had been that you were making this sparkly red because it hasn't been that long.

Andrew: Since '95.

Paul: Really?

Andrew: That was the first release of this.

Paul: But the sales have had – I mean, as we see...

Andrew: They're roughly equal in sales now.

Paul: Now?

Andrew: Yeah.

Paul: But they had to ramp up, let's say in the last five years because...

Andrew: They've been ramping up.

Paul: Are there? Because I've seen dry sherry now and those are kind of really hard to figure out but some of them are pretty good. But you see more and more of this. This is one of the best I've tasted for sure.

Andrew: Well, anybody who likes a sweet red they would enjoy this.

Paul: But some of them brought them to the market quickly try to slam stuff together and it just tastes like

Andrew: Our winemakers are very different.

Paul: Very good.

Andrew: All right, one more thing.

Paul: It is really fun because I am a Manhattan guy and have studied the Manhattan in the story from 1894 and Winston Churchill's mom supposed this is for her but then they figured out Winston Churchill she was probably home in England, priding with Winston Churchill and she was in New York at the fundraiser supposedly was invented for the fundraiser but this domestic sweet vermouth.

Andrew: Yes.

Paul: That's amazing.

Andrew: Yeah. This is a very interesting wine. Sweet Vermouth is the king of vermouth because it is so hard to make, a good wine and it's a really complicated wine. There is a balance of bitter and sweet. That's what one of the big things it's all about.

Paul: So, let's say what is vermouth? I mean, both dry and sweet vermouth is wine that has been...

Andrew: ... infused with aromatic plants.

Paul: When we say infuse we don't mean – we mean, you've actually sort of like a tea bag of herbs in there?

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Paul: And the recipes of course are very...

Andrew: The recipe is a secret.

Paul: Yes.

Andrew: But it's a – when you taste it, it will give – we can guess some of the things that are in here. You can probably pick cinnamon a little bit, right?

Paul: Yes, yes. Surely we've got that.

Andrew: So, this is got a big middle flavor of a cinnamon clove, nutmeg, ginger, cardamum. Sort of like you're in your mother's kitchen and it's Christmas and she's making cookies. That's what this wine tastes like and that's why it's good with the whisky.

Paul: So good.

Andrew: Beautiful with the whisky.

Paul: A two to one red Manhattan, it don't get much better than that, extra cold, don't shake it, stir because you don't want to take brown liquors and get them all frothy and ugly looking. But then you did something off camera with me which you took about two-thirds of Sweet Vermouth and a third of Dry Vermouth with a lemon, to get orange twist.

Andrew: Yup.

Paul: And that seems to be you're saying it's very popular.

Andrew: And that cuts the sweetness on this and adds another dimension to the flavor, the herbs and it's – we serve it on the rocks. It's a great a aperitif.

Paul: I actually that was the first time I ever experienced that and I could order that. That was really good.

Andrew: Thank you.

Paul: But if you didn't do it with this, if you did it with one of the chain item, Sweet Vermouth, I don't think you get that same.

Andrew: Well, no because it's the flavors that makes it so good.

Paul: Right.

Andrew: And this is a unique flavor. There's nobody else really has that kind of a dimension that we do in it with the cinnamon clove, nutmeg, ginger thing happening in there in the middle of all this caramelly richness that have bitterness and the sweetness that you have in the Sweet Vermouth.

Paul: We're going to bring some of this in and so the folks can get it. They will buy it anyway. The worse case is I've had bothered me.

Andrew: I think you're a way ahead of here.

Paul: You know, yes, of course. It's a real pleasure having you here. Andy, thank you for taking the time to stand by and say

Andrew: The pleasure is mine.

Paul: Cheers.