Applegate Valley clearly can grow Cab Franc superbly well. Another undeniably tasty wine featuring notes of coffee, black cherries, and ancho chili, we really like the pure expression of Cab Franc going on here. Consider serving this with an ancho and coffee-dusted skirt steak.
During a recent visit to the store, President for Life Herb Quady and his Quady North wines really won us over. Honest, no-nonsense, humbly priced wineries aren’t as easy to come by as they were a decade ago, and we’re thrilled to add another one to our family of featured producers.
Quady North is one of the few Southern Oregon wineries we’ve featured. That’s a deeper discussion for another time and more space but to be succinct, they poured the most interesting and delicious line-up of Southern Oregon wine we’ve tasted from a single producer, in a decidedly unpretentious manner.
Background: Herb grew up on his family’s winery in Central California with a compulsory love for Muscat, but after an accidental exposure to the world of Rhone varieties at the hand of the infamous Randall Graham, he became obsessed with the idea of making (gasp!) table wines. After earning his winemaking props at Fresno State, he eventually found his way into the great unknown of Southern Oregon.
Herb and his family moved from California in late 2003, convinced that Southern Oregon was a region on the verge of exploding onto the wine scene. The climate, with warm days punctuated by afternoon winds and cool nights, reminded him of Southern France, and he was convinced that Rhone varieties would thrive.
In 2005, the Quady family purchased 100 acres, which contained the remains of an old motocross track and several dozen aging vehicles, and set upon the long task of converting it into an Estate vineyard. The next year, Herb and Meloney made the first vintage from purchased fruit while Herb worked as a winemaker at Troon Vineyard. Sourcing from distinct sites at disparate corners of the region, the first vintage was of excellent quality, and showed the terroir of each site.
The original planting was named "Mae's Vineyard" after elder daughter Margaux Mae. Mae's is planted to Syrah, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Tannat, Malbec and Orange Muscat. In 2011, a second planting was named for younger daughter Serafina Eevee and was planted to Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Cabernet Franc, Grenache Noir and Malvasia Bianca. Both are "LIVE" (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) certified sustainable.
As the Estate Vineyards came into bearing, the Quady's continued to purchase fruit from the original sites, eventually forming a business that would manage these sites and more. These vineyard sites: Serenade (near Ashland), Steelhead Run (near the Applegate River), Sam's Valley (in the upper Rogue) and the Frank's Vineyard (now called Serra) would form a critical part of the winery's portfolio, and are the source of many great wines.
Over time, the portfolio has expanded to become Pan-Rhon-ish, with a distinct Loire-ish influence. Recently, Grenache has played a larger part, becoming the basis of Dry Rose, a GSM blend, as well as the early-release "Bomba.”