quady winery

Quady Winery co-founder Andy Quady

quady wineryQuady Winery co-founder Andy Quady is our guest today on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. The Quady Winery is located in Madera in the San Joaquin Valley. Their website shows an exotic version of a Margarita and also an idea for Sangria made with Moscato. Most of what they make is Muscat grapes, or Moscato. Orange Muscat is also called Moscato Fior d’arancio (Italian for Orange Flower Muscat). They also use Muscat Hamburg, also called Black Muscat. Muscat Canelli (so-called in California) is Moscato Bianco, used in all the Italian Moscato wines.

The first Quady Winery vintage was 1975. They made their first Vermouth in 1999. He graduated from UC Davis and spent a lot of time in southern France. He saw that in Marseille they have a habit of drinking a vermouth as an aperitif. Its combination of bitterness and sweetness works well at that moment of the day, before a meal.

Dan Berger explains how quality vermouth should be treated, which is not the way it is treated here in the US. People open a vermouth and use some, then put it away. The wine oxidizes and loses flavor. In Europe people don’t have that problem because they drink more of it and it doesn’t hang around. Quady makes three vermouths, dry, extra dry and sweet. Vya is the name of their line of Vermouth and Andy has a good story of its origin.

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In the US we use vermouth as a cocktail ingredient but in Europe people drink it straight, mostly on the rocks, as an aperitif. In Italy, people drink white or red vermouth over ice, before dinner.  Andy started making vermouth because he had a customer who ran a restaurant where the customers didn’t want old stale crummy vermouth in their drinks. The extra dry vermouth would go with a gin martini, and the Whisper would go with vodka.

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The label includes the plants (or “botanicals” if you prefer) that go into flavoring the vermouth. People drink vodka martinis because they don’t like gin, so the vermouth shouldn’t suggest a gin martini either, which is a result that Andy can achieve with his highly perfumed and delicately flavored vermouth. Other vermouth brands treat their recipe like a family secret or a state secret. Dan pronounces the aromatics, “captivating but delicate.” Beefeater gin is made only with juniper flavor. This makes a classic martini when mixed with a vermouth that matches and compliments the juniper flavor.

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