Blue Quail’s Owner
Guinness McFadden grew up in the upper west side of New York City, the oldest of five. In the fall of 1956 he turned down an Ivy League scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame, as any good Irish Catholic would do. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and earned a varsity letter on the Notre Dame wrestling team.
Immediately after graduation, Guinness joined the United States Navy where he stayed for nine years. He developed his love for wine while on tour in the Mediterranean. In 1965 he volunteered to replace an American who was killed in action and captained an all Vietnamese River Assault Group that patrolled rivers and estuaries. He was awarded a Bronze Star and became fluent in Vietnamese. To repay his bravery, Guinness was given the opportunity to serve as an admiral’s aide in Lisbon. He spent the last four years of his naval career in Portugal, where he also learned to speak the native tongue.
In 1969 he moved back to the states and enrolled in Stanford Business School. After a brief time at Stanford, he realized his presence in world renowned business classes was akin to a three year old learning how to hit a baseball from Ted Williams. So he made room for someone else who could use the space at the business school and decided to search for a place to plant the vineyard he had been dreaming of. Over forty years ago he found it in Potter Valley, Mendocino County, California.