Notes from the vineyard Spring 2018

Spring has most definitely sprung here in Southern Oregon. We noticed bud break around 4.17.18, which is quite average, but later than the last few years. The recent cool, wet weather has meant relatively slow shoot growth, and, two weeks later, most of the shoots are less than 4” long.

The big story for us in the vineyard this year is our transition to Organic Viticulture. Over the years, we have been steadily acquiring the equipment and the knowledge to successfully farm Organically. The major burden for us, weed control, has been solved (mostly) by a 20 year old “Kimco” cultivator that I purchased from a longtime friend, Gary Connor, and modified to fit our crawler tractor. I also picked up a used mower that will cut the grass underneath the vines as it grows up during the summer. With these two pieces of equipment, plus a used cover crop seeder and an under-vine compost spreader that I bought several years ago, we finally have what we need to successfully farm using an Organic system. The other serendipitous event that made it the right time to convert to Organic farming was that LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), the certifying body that has always monitored our Sustainability certification, announced this year that they were offering an Organic certification as well. This meant that we could continue to work with LIVE, an Oregon based, grower advised entity for which I have a lot of respect, while we transitioned to certified Organic.

I’m excited for this next phase in the vineyard and the challenge that it poses. It will take time to evaluate what changes we will see, if any, in the wine. However, just by making the decision to farm Organically, we have made a change in our own organization. As we continue down this path, I’ll make sure to update everyone on the things we learn and the changes we see along the way. I’m looking forward to this Summer’s Bar-be-“Q” so everyone can have a tour and see it for themselves.


Herb Quady

President for Life

A Dozen Rosés for St. Valentine's Day


Just in time for Valentine's Day, we're offering a heretofore unheard of deal on a much more delicious dozen of roses. Through Valentine's Day you can get a case of Rosé (GSM only) for $120 ($96 for WineClub members). And to sweeten the deal even further, purchases of 12 bottles or more ship free! 

Hop on over to the webstore and make your significant others' dreams come true.


Shortly after I arrived in Southern Oregon in 2003, I drove through the Applegate Valley and introduced myself to many of the local grape growers. It was the middle of winter, and while that time of year might not seem to be particularly revelatory when it comes to evaluating vineyard sites, it does tend to show what pathways water takes, which is critical to the health of the vineyard. On most sites, there were puddles and rivulets, but at Steelhead Run, the ground was dry, and I could observe smooth round stones mixed in with the sandy soil. From everything I knew or had read about grape growing, it seemed a promising site, and I logged that little bit of information away for later use.

Three years later I was starting Quady North and I was looking for Viognier and Syrah from special places that would be distinct from one another. I scored a ton each from Steelhead Run and thus started a relationship that would ultimately end up with me managing the vineyard and purchasing almost a third of the crop. It was Ron and Laura that took a chance on the site, planting varieties not previously grown in the area, and micro managing the site to match trellis, variety and irrigation to achieve a degree of balance. In my case, I was able to grow with the site. I learned a bit each year, adapting my winemaking style to try and match the direction the fruit wanted to go.

Achieving the Top 100 ranking from Wine Enthusiast for the Steelhead Run Viognier is particularly satisfying. If I look back, I feel that I might have had many opportunities to achieve such an honor, if only I had altered my choices slightly, whether through picking or winemaking. Each vintage seemed to have the potential for great things, but it took almost a decade of experience for me to learn how best to realize the potential of Steelhead Run Viognier.

 Fun Facts:

- We have made single vineyard bottlings from Steelhead Run Vineyard in every year since we started the winery.

- 93 points is our highest score to date. We also received 93 points on another Steelhead Run Wine, the 2009 Flagship Syrah.

- The 2007 Steelhead Run Viognier was a favorite of the buyer at New Seasons, who approved it for the Portland grocery chain.

This appointment allowed us to gain our first distributor in Oregon.

- We are expanding our purchases from Steelhead Run, adding Marsanne, Grenache Noir and Roussanne.


Herb Quady

President for Life