Starboard Batch 88 is an easy drinking port-style wine with ripe fruit and nutty elements that place it somewhere between a ruby and a tawny. It is warm, smooth and rich with a chocolate-raisin character. Delightfully warming by itself, Starboard Batch 88 also pairs well with cheeses and chocolates.
Why do we call our “port” Starboard?
Port is a geographic term for fortified wines that come from the Douro River Valley in Portugal. Starboard, the nautical term for right, (as opposed to port – left) is unique to Quady Winery, as we are in the San Joaquin Valley of California, on the other side of the world from Portugal.
At Quady Winery, we use the same grape varieties and similar methods as in the Douro, but our climate is warmer and the soils are different. Instead of 140 proof fortifying brandy, we use a neutral grape spirit of 190 proof. We also use 60-gallon barrels instead of the 140-gallon pipes used in Portugal. Here at Quady, our port-style wine matures earlier and has a riper, more voluptuous flavor.
The grapes used to make Starboard Batch 88 are the traditional Portuguese varieties Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cao. Our vineyards produce loose bunches and a small crop, so we blend different vintages - each with an average age of 5 years - into one decadent, smooth and delicious wine. In the port wine business, this type of blend is called “Vintage Character.” The first year we made wine in this style was 1988, thus the name Starboard Batch 88.