Andrew and Laurel Quady enjoy a glass of wine in front of their Electra Moscato brand wines. Photo contributed.
Written by Edward Smith
This year’s grape harvest marks 45 years since the first season for one Madera winery — and after Covid, they’ve put their sights on doubling their current production in the next five years.
Andrew and Laurel Quady bought the land that would become Quady Winery back in the 1970s, transforming orchards of walnuts into grapes.
The two started on their own, picking the first grapes and crushing the first harvest in 1975. Andrew had originally worked as a chemical engineer making pyrotechnic devices for the U.S. Military before changing to agriculture, according to a press release. Andrew attended UC Davis to pursue a career in winemaking.
Laurel supported Andrew as a licensed CPA while he worked for Mission Bell Winery, moonlighting as a winemaker with Quady grapes. The first harvest produced slightly over 1,600 cases of zinfandel port wine.
Today, they produce well north of 100,000 cases a year and employ between 25-30 people, not including seasonal workers. They had planned to produce 160,000 cases this year, but with consumer habits changing after Covid, it did not take long to pass that goal.
“We’ve exceeded that,” said Colin Hough, marketing manager with Quady Winery. “We knew we were going to need more wine.”
They had worked to get on shelves of nationally known chains such as Kroger.
“In this industry, once that snowball starts growing, there’s no stopping it,” said Hough. “You have proof of the brand and then all the other retailers want to carry it.”
The growth they had seen this year prompted them to set a new production goal of 300,000 cases within five years. They had been on that trajectory for several years, says Hough, but the demand from people stuck at home sped up that goal. To do so, they’ll need additional tanks, more grapes as well as a new bottling line.
The winery is now famous for their moscatos, their vermouth and their port wines.
“Our Electra Moscatos have stolen the show at Quady and for good reason—they are so easy to love: light, refreshing, sweet, and incredibly aromatic,” Laurel said in the release.
“Essensia Orange Muscat captures the essence of the Orange Muscat grape grown in the Central Valley,” Andrew said.