The Orange Muscat “Essensia” Quady grapes were crushed, chilled and allowed to macerate. The Orange Muscat “Essensia” Quady fermentation was arrested with neutral grape brandy. This arrested fermentation preserves the delicate aromas of the fresh, ripe grapes. Therefore, the wine is lightly fortified to about 15% alcohol and aged for three months in used, predominantly French oak barrels.
In 1980 Andrew Quady discovered a parcel of underused Orange Muscat grapes in Reedley, California, which led him to make a wine which celebrated the intense aromas and spicy fruit flavours of the grapes. In Italy, the variety is known as Moscato Fior d’Arancio: Organge Blossom Muscat. In Reedley, California, it is grown in well drained, alluvial soils, in climatic conditions ideally suited to this variety. The grapes are harvested at optimal maturity and once they have reached 22 Brix.
Andrew Quady’s change of career from making fireworks to making wine produced an explosion of its own kind when he created Essensia from the Orange Muscat grape. It was an instant success and until 1985 he could not make enough to satisfy demand. Now Quady is the foremost American winery specialising entirely in dessert wines and continues to win medals worldwide. In 1975 winery’s first port-like wine was made from Amador County Zinfandel. Now it is made from traditional Portuguese varietals such as Tinta Roriz and Tinta Cao.