ZD Wines was founded in 1969 by the deLeuze family and is still family owned and operated with the original owner’s children and grandchildren now involved. The Z and the D stand for the last name of the owners as well as meaning “Zero Defects” a term that is used in engineering. Norm deLeuze was an aeronautical engineer when he first started experimenting with commercial winemaking in 1969. ZD actually received their first wine permit in Sonoma County (not many Napa County wineries can say this!). They rented farm buildings in the Carneros region of Sonoma County and they made their first vintages here.
They opened their current winery in 1980 and it has since undergone major renovation and now it is a world class winery building. Their inner courtyard area of the building looks almost like the Sonoma Mission in the town of Sonoma in neighboring Sonoma County. They have a unique winery sign; raised gold lettering sits on a natural rock near their short steep driveway. Drive down to the small parking lot; the winery is on the north side of the parking lot. Their grapes come from from all over Napa Valley although they have estate vineyards on site, all certified organic.
Choose from two tasting flights at their large semi-circular counter, a Current Release and a Premier tasting. Their Riesling is delicious and not overly sweet; these grapes originate from Santa Barbara County. We have had several nice Rieslings recently from Santa Barbara county sourced fruit. ZD also has an excellent stand alone Petite Verdot. Petit Verdot is usually used as a varietal for blending and only a small number of Napa wineries produce this as a stand alone varietal. Their smooth Cabernet Sauvignon is worth trying and the vintage we tried had a soft tannin structure on the finish.
We’ve been here several times and its always nice to find the counter empty as during most weekends boistrous wine drinkers line the bar. During one of our recent tastings we tried their Reserve selection. These are wines that are typically produced in quantities of less than 2000 cases. The 2005 Reserve Chardonnay did not undergo Malolactic Fermentation and has a nice balance between fruit flavors and acidity. It is slightly creamy with a beautiful golden color in the glass. The 2006 Reserve Pinot noir is a rich wine with soft tannins with a complexity of flavors that makes for a long interesting finish. ZD wines have been served at several Presidential State dinners. Check out their Saturday Cheese Pairing seminar (by app only). Visit www.zdwines.com
Wine with Tony