Andrew & Laurel Quady
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Andrew and Laurel Quady are the founders, C.E.O. and C.F.O. respectively, of Quady Winery. Their path into the wine world began with an exodus from southern California to pursue their dream: a rural way of life making wine. Formerly working in underwater explosives for the U.S. military, peaceful, plant loving Andrew was looking for a natural redirection. He returned to school at U.C. Davis, graduating at the top of his class with a masters in Food Science-Enology. Laurel went back to school and became a licensed C.P.A., opening her own office and funding the fragile first decade of winery production with her flourishing small town practice. Needless to say, Andrew’s inventive nature keeps them both on their toes: with his pioneering use of rare muscat varietals, and his fascination with aromatic herbs, Quady tends to take the market by surprise. The Quadys are known for an uncommonly energetic zest. When they are not exposing the world to their wines, forecasting sales, responding to emails, or navigating financial statements, they can be found hiking the Sierra Nevadas, or enjoying their garden, friends and family.
Director of Winemaking
A California native with a strong interest in the environment, Michael Blaylock is responsible for three decades of gold medal wines at Quady Winery. As an integral part of the winery management team, Michael presides over a wide range of production, labeling, and general winery management concerns. Out in the field he collaborates with long time Quady grape growers and monitors the Quady estate vineyard to assure fruit quality. An advocate for the San Joaquin Valley agricultural community, Michael sits on the Board of Directors for both the California Wine Institute and the Family Winemakers of California. Locally he is a member of Vino Fino, one of the oldest wine tasting clubs in the San Joaquin Valley. A former Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the Philippines, he helped develop new income-generating jobs for local fishermen, which included establishing a successful wine production enterprise. Inspired by this experience, Blaylock returned to the U.S. and entered the graduate enology program at California State University Fresno where he received his Master of Science degree in Agricultural Chemistry with an emphasis in Enology. In 1984 he joined Quady Winery full time. His unique standard for excellence year after year ensures that Quady wines are unforgettable dessert-on-the-palate experiences. Mike has been known to say, even during the sixteen-hour days of crush, “What really matters is that I’m still having fun!”
Darin was promoted from Assistant Winemaker to Winemaker in 2015. A graduate of California State University Fresno’s enology program, Darin comes to Quady from Simpson Meadow Winery. Prior to winemaking, he spent several years in the advertising industry. It was while working with food stylists and attending client dinner meetings that Darin discovered a passion for food and wine. He briefly considered a second career as a chef, but in the end chose to trade the long hours and frenzied pace of the art department for the long hours and frenzied pace of the crush pad. He says he feels like an artisan when watching over the Vya vermouth: “It’s heady, If I dig into a giant bag of cardamom in the morning, it gets in my clothes and I’m just thinking pie all day long. As you infuse and steep, the flavors deepen and change and build quickly. With wine, the deepening of the flavors takes months, but because vermouth is really like a tea, you can see the results in a much shorter time.”
Cole recently joined the Quady team about a year ago and has thoroughly enjoyed his time while augmenting his repertoire of skills by learning the craft of making sweet and aperitif wines. He has found it rewarding to be a part of such unique projects as crafting artisanal vermouth and port. “Ever since I was a child, I have had this love of port as my father would let me have a tiny sip out of the dram he would pour himself occasionally.” He comes to Quady from working a few brief periods at various wineries on the east coast. Prior to that he graduated from Fresno State’s Enology and Viticulture program in 2014. In reflecting over the last year with Quady winery, he conveys these thoughts about his passion for winemaking. “I am glad to find a place that I can call home as I continue to do everything in my ability to help propel Quady Winery to new heights as we grow. I hope that I can bring what I have learned to the table to continue to make Quady wines a special experience for all.” Keeping true to his ambitious personality, Cole starts his days in the pool at 4:30AM and finds relaxation after a day of winemaking in completing projects on and around his home.
Dan began his career at Quady Winery in July 1985. His first tasks involved working with 500 or so barrels of wine in the aging process and assisting with bottling and labeling. Bottling was done by hand and labeling with a New Jersey Pony Labeler. As the winery grew so did his responsibilities. When Dan started working at Quady we were producing about 5,000 cases of wine. Today he manages a production crew that produces 80,000 cases of wine; bottles and labels all year long, crushes 600 tons of grapes, and produces thirteen different wines. Dan manages and supervises the bottling and labeling of our wines on a 16 head filler corker and a pressure sensitive labeler. He supervises a crew of 5-10 people at any given time.
Mauro has been at Quady Winery since March 29th, 1988. With over twenty five years of cellar work to his credit, Mauro supervises cellar tasks and keeps everything in excellent working order. Mauro enjoys the hands-on nature of his job, working alongside longtime Quady managers, and being a part of wine production – from crushing to filtration to bottling, and all the cleaning in between. He’s an avid Eagles, Giants, Blackhawks and NASCAR fan.
Administrative, Export, and IT Manager
Dave came to Quady Winery in 2002 when Laurel’s hard drive crashed and panic set in. Dave was working as an IT Consultant and was called in to solve the problem. He was able to retrieve her data off the dead drive and get everything up and running like new. While working on Laurel’s computer, he noticed the office staff was passing around a phone cord to check email and surf the web. Dave knew a friend who had just completed setting up a wireless broadband tower and was looking for a site to test. He insisted that Quady be the first site on this new form of internet in Madera. An exciting partnership formed and in 2004 Dave decided to join the Quady team full time. Over the past 10 years, Dave has picked up several additional duties like pouring at wine tastings, managing exports, supervising office and tasting room staff, wine trail and club party planning, backup bookkeeping, and assisting GM Cheryl Russell. “I still can’t decide what I like best about Quady… working with the IT infrastructure, our importers, the Quady Crew, or pouring at tastings. If I were forced to choose, it would have to be working with Andrew, Laurel, and the rest of the crew. Especially our Winemaker, Michael Blaylock, and Assistant Winemaker Darin Peterson… they are hilarious!”
National Sales Manager
Jim joined Quady Winery in 2015 to lead Quady Winery’s transition to handling the responsibility of all aspects of sales internally. He has a strong distributor management and sales background developed with over 20 years of industry experience working with large and midsized wineries. He is excited to join a growing company with such a strong family based culture with great wines. When not flying around the country, Jim helps coach his kids’ hockey, baseball, and softball teams while also rooting for his Wisconsin hometown sports teams including Wisconsin, Marquette, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Green Bay Packers.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Sandra Hess joined Quady Winery in 2016 and brought a list of wine industry related accomplishments about as long as the California Central Valley summers are hot. Serving as Marketing and Communications Manager, Sandra brings an expertise and passion in wine that aligns with the rest of the Quady veterans perfectly. She’s the founder of DTC Wine Workshops, which supports wineries nationally and regularly speaks at industry events on the subjects of wine sales strategy, marketing and customer relations. Working with the other members of the Sales & Marketing crew, Sandra is using her years of experience and insight to lead Quady Winery into new and exciting opportunities, which paired with Quady’s creative and adventurous winemakers, is a recipe all wine drinkers can be delighted about! In addition to the fun Sandra has helping winery clients, she also enjoys new adventures with her husband Mark and their grown children, serving at church, cooking, hiking and exploring live music.
Asst. Marketing & Communications Manager, Tasting Room Supervisor
Colin is one of our newest additions joining the Quady crew in 2016. A CSU Fresno, Craig’s School of Business alumni, he comes to Quady Winery equipped with experience in just about all things marketing related. Colin spent his first five years after graduation running the marketing department for a Fresno based, family owned manufacturing company, which specializes in producing equipment used in firefighting. In his time there, Colin wore more than a few hats, handling everything from graphic design and product development, to advertising and brand strategy. While there are few customer groups that are more enjoyable to serve than our proud firefighters, Colin decided he’d like to try his hands at a new challenge and opportunity, and dove head first into Quady Wine! Currently, Colin supervises the Tasting Room, handles our Graphic Design and serves as Assistant Marketing and Communications Manager. In his off time, he loves pursing his leisurely passions like playing music for his local church and perfecting his photography skills; all while in the company of his loving wife, Lais.
Human Resources Representative and Administrative Assistant
Cynthia has been with Quady for fifteen years. She started as the Promotional Secretary and moved into the roles of Administrative Assistant and Human Resources Representative. She also coordinates out of town events and logistics for the Quady team. Cynthia often interfaces with the public via email, on the phones, and in the tasting room. She successfully manages the variety in her role and appreciates that, “at Quady Winery, it’s like a family.” She especially enjoys meeting new people and introducing newcomers to Quady wines. She has been married for 26 years to her loving husband Paul (her high school sweetheart) and she has three beautiful daughters. She is a proud grandmother to one granddaughter and is expecting her second grandchild in September 2014.
Photographer and Mixologist
Dana Fares met Andrew Quady in 1996 when she was making cocktails with high-end vodka in Los Angeles. He walked up to her at an event with a bottle of a still little known Quady wine aromatized with two herbs that he called Deviation and asked if she could make a cocktail with it. Her cocktail won them over and she was intrigued by the idea of working for a small unique business in an alcohol industry she saw as dominated by very large competitors. With several years under her belt working for big liquor companies in L.A., she was excited by the opportunity to work with fortified wines, Moscatos, and vermouth. When the fancy vodka company she was working for decided to take their vodka back to the Ukraine, the Quadys asked her to join their team. The opportunity to work for an innovative, resourceful, (and at times insane) family business won her over. Seven years on she remains smitten by the unique Quady way of doing business – for the love of it. Her cocktails grace the pages of the newest Quady cocktail book, and a few bars in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Northwest Regional Sales Manager and Quady North Winemaker
Herb grew up at Quady Winery 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. While working as the winemaker for Troon Vineyard, Herb and his wife Meloney founded Quady North in 2006 in collaboration with the Quady family. Herb also runs Applegate Vineyard Management Company. In 2014 Herb took on the role of Northwest Regional Sales Manager for Quady Winery.
Board of Directors
Allie first worked under the supervision of Michael Blaylock at Quady Winery as a general winery worker in high school running lab tests and doing all manner of winery work – which mostly means cleaning equipment! After college she worked on a backcountry trail crew in Montana, and then joined the Peace Corps to help farmers integrate agro-forestry techniques on their farms in West Africa. Returning home with a love for sustainable agriculture, she helped her brother clear his land for grape growing in Oregon and then went to school to study public health, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture at Tufts. She’s worked to certify Organic farms for California Certified Organic Farmers and as the Program Director at The Ecological Farming Association. She joined Quady Winery in 2012 as Communications and Marketing Manager and managed the redesign of quadywinery.com, vya.com, and the creation of saltofthearthwine.com. She upgraded Quady Winery’s marketing collateral to reflect the dynamic and visionary company that she knew from the inside. She’s handing off the marketing reigns in 2017 to pursue an entrepreneurial bug of her own as a health coach at Momentum Health Coaching. She remains engaged and active in Quady Winery in a strategic role on the Board of Directors, as an advisor to the marketing team, and as a Quady representative at events.