Elysium – Black Muscat, another under appreciated muscat variety, is known in Europe as a table grape variety, Muscat Hamburg, one of the very few black skinned muscats. If ripened to about 25 brix, it attains a rose-like aroma and litchi like flavor. This rose-like aroma led us to name the wine Elysium, Greek for heaven. Drinking this, you can almost feel you have fallen into a rose garden and been transported to heaven.
Elysium is used to either accompany or replace dessert. It is wonderful with blue cheeses, with desserts containing red fruits (such as Summer Pudding, an English favorite), with vanilla, with dark chocolate, with ice cream desserts, and candlelight. One favorite is to pour the wine onto vanilla ice cream. Serve Elysium Sundae with a glass of Elysium.
First there were two – Andrew and Laurel Quady left crowded southern California and their jobs in pyrotechnics and merchandising to pursue their dream: a non-urban way of life making wine. Returning to school, Andrew graduated with a Masters in Food Science-Enology from UC Davis and Laurel became a licensed CPA. In 1975, at the urging of friend Darrell Corti, they made their first port from Amador County Zinfandel in Lodi. In 1977, settled in Madera in California’s San Joaquin Valley with Andrew working at a nearby winery, they built their own small winery behind their country home and made port on evenings and weekends. In 1980 they made a fortified dessert wine from the obscure Orange Muscat grape variety. The wine, Essensia, was unlike anything in the dessert wine field and became a major success. In 1983, opportunity knocked when they were offered a crop of Black Muscat grapes that became Elysium, the first dessert wine to smell of roses.
Then there were four – By 1982 the expanding business needed space and Andrew and Laurel needed help. While still working on his winemaking degree at Fresno State, now winemaker Michael Blaylock moonlighted evenings during crush. Michael became Quady’s full time winemaker in 1984 and never looked back. Quady’s continued rise and recognition across the industry for extremely high quality is due to Michael’s exacting standards from the vineyard to the bottle. Cheryl Russell, Quady’s general manager also joined full time in 1984, and the dedicated team worked together to achieve consistent success. With their enthusiasm and integrity the winery continued to grow, developing more unique wines: Starboard (our euphemism for port), Electra (white and red) and Vya vermouth. For more about Quady’s winemaker, Michael Blaylock, and general manager, Cheryl Russell, click here.
Now there are more – Many of the Quady Winery staff have been with the winery for over twenty years. Production Manager Danny Mejia started in 1985 and Cellar Master Mauro Molina in 1988. Since then, the staff has grown to include assistant winemaker Darin Peterson, six full time cellar employees, five office staff, and several part-time employees. The Quady Winery crew consistently surpasses expectations and takes great pride in working for an uncommon company