The Carneros region is as authentic as those who live and work here. The Carneros Wine Alliance has created “The Voices of Carneros” to allow locals to share their insight and knowledge of Carneros, including secret spots in the region. “The Voices of Carneros” is published regularly on the alliance website and across all social media outlets.
Brandon deLeuze, ZD Wines
Assistant Winemaker at ZD. I started working at ZD at a very young age, we like to joke that child labor laws don't apply with a family business. After acquiring an Enology degree at Cal Poly and bouncing around the central coast wine scene for a few years, I have been back at ZD Wines since 2006 and have been involved with the CWA since that time.
In 1969, which marked our first commercial vintage, my grandfather produced a Pinot Noir that had the first official ‘Carneros' designate ever on a wine label. Forty-five years later, our estate Carneros Pinot Noir and Chardonnay make up some of the very best fruit we work with to date. My father has recently been spending a lot of time at our organically certified ZD Carneros Estate property building a barn to house our farming equipment and reviving our historic home. This is the vineyard where our Reserve Chardonnay and Founder's Reserve Pinot Noir come from. I am looking forward to spending some non-work hours at this beautiful property having a beer on the porch!
How much family is too much family? I work with my dad, ZD CEO Robert deLeuze, along with my uncle, ZD President Brett deLeuze, my grandmother and ZD Cofounder Rosa Lee deLeuze, plus my sister, California Sales Manager Jill deLeuze--every day. If that's not enough, my sister and her husband live right down the street from me.
Grab a bacon Bloody Mary from Boonfly Café when you are trying to get the blood flowing after a big day of wine tasting. Also be sure to check out Carneros Brewing Company right down the street making some tasty cervezas. There is a lot of good biking around the area, but my favorite is throwing the kayak in the Napa River down Cuttings Wharf Road and paddling around with a bottle of ZD and a friend.