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  • Writer's pictureJTF

Zero Defects: ZD Wines 50th Anniversary

Located on Rutherford‘s AVA off the Silverado Trail, ZD’s tasting room and winery is located within the picturesque setting of one of Napa's most charming sections. ZD is often confused for Zero Defects, an earnest assumption due to the commitment of the winery to produce high quality and consistent wine. Yet, the real meaning behind the name comes from the founders' last names Norman DeLeuze and Gino Zepponi.

The winery prides itself on offering welcoming, warm, and familial hospitality. Their mission is palpable from the moment anyone walks into the vineyard, which, despite extensive and modern renovations, feels more like walking into someone's home than the estate of a business. Walking along its hallway towards the deck for tastings, pictures of the DeLeuze family frame the passage. Winemaking is a family affair for this winery, and it shows in every aspect of their property.

ZD wines hold a commitment to sustainable practices, something that is reflected both in their facilities and their style of winemaking, their wines are certified organic. Its flagship offering: Abacus, is a representation of the respect and the value for heritage and history in the art of winemaking. The wine is made solera style, which means merging old and new vintages through fractional blending.

Abacus XXI, its current release, still have some of the original Cabernet that started the process. The purpose of such practice is to infuse the wine the youthful qualities of a young, vibrant, and fruit forward wine with the softer, more layered, and complexed qualities of its aged predecessors. The result is a delectable taste that has held the fascination of wine drinkers for decades.

The winery's portfolio also includes a variety of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offerings along with a fortified wine. Production for ZD occurs in their more expansive property located in the heart of Carneros. While visiting the winery, visitors have the chance to taste several 'library' selection wines available for purchase at the estate or through its wine club. ZD wines are approachable, unpretentious, and warm to the palate. They derive from good grapes, responsible winemaking, and respect for heritage and family; their wines deliver a warm and welcoming experience to anyone that chooses to enjoy them. Cheers! To 50 years of family winemaking, and the next 50 years of exceptional wine.


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