Z D Wines
A Unique Vantage Point Into the Napa Valley
With a history built upon more than four decades of winemaking, ZD Wines is rightfully known as one of California’s premier Chardonnay producers. Back in 1969, ZD was founded by aerospace engineers Norman deLeuze and Gino Zepponi. Today, three generations of the deLeuze family and the growing ZD staff welcome guests daily who have traveled to the Rutherford winery from around the world – for a taste of ZD’s award-winning wines.
Over the years, the winery has received particularly significant recognition for its Chardonnays, which have been produced since 1972. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan served 1981 ZD Chardonnay at a state dinner for the Summit of Industrial Nations. The official memo sent out afterward noted that the ZD Wines Chardonnay “stole the show.” Since then, ZD Chardonnay has continued to grace the tables of U.S. presidents and their guests.
ZD Wines also garnered international recognition in 1985, when its 1982 Chardonnay won the Decanter Award for Best Chardonnay at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London. Most recently, ZD’s current release of 2011 Chardonnay earned Gold Medal/Best in Class at the San Diego International Wine Competition, Gold Medal at the Tasters Guild International Wine Judging and Gold Medal at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition.
The limited production 2011 Reserve Chardonnay – sourced entirely from ZD’s organic Carneros Estate vineyard – has also received recognition from wine writers and competitions. California Grapevine Magazine awarded ZD’s 2011 Reserve Chardonnay 91 points, and it also earned a Double Gold Medal at the Tasters Guild International Wine Judging. Both current release ZD Chardonnays are available for sale at the winery and on ZD’s website at zdwines.com.
ZD Wines offers several tasting experiences and tours at the winery. Guests can explore the organic Rutherford Estate vineyard during the Eco Tour. From the Vineyard View Room, they can take in ZD’s expansive landscape while indulging in expert pairings of cheese and award winning wines. The Library Selection Tour allows guests to discover vintage Chardonnay as it begins to show the essence of its varietal with wonderful tones of vanilla, pear and honey. Acidity continues to integrate into the wine more each year, balancing the lush palate with ripe apricot and sweet, toasty oak as the complexity of ZD Chardonnay continues to develop.
While ZD Wines’ flagship wine is Chardonnay, it is also well known for world-class Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with additional varietals through the Rosa Lee’s Whim limited releases. These small production offerings, selected annually by Norman’s wife and first generation ZD owner Rosa Lee deLeuze, have ranged from Barbera to Pinot Grigio to Malbec. This year’s Rosa Lee selection is 2012 ZD Semillon, a perfect summer white.
There are only a handful of small, family-operated wineries in the Napa Valley, and ZD Wines is one of them. This winery offers guests an intimate vantage point into the Napa Valley experience with each and every visit.