Chris Pisani ZD WinemakerOn February 21, 2024, we had the opportunity to meet and interview John Buckey and Chris Pisani. John is the National Sales Manager and Chris is the Senior Winemaker at ZD Winery. We covered seven of the winery’s current-release wines. Check out what we learned from John and Chris.

Before we get to the wines, I thought I would share some tidbits with regards to Chris and ZD Winery.
• ZD Wines was founded in 1969.
• ZD started in Sonoma, not Napa.
• It is owned and operated by the deLeuze family.
• ZD Wines is a family business that is committed to producing world-class wines while farming organically.
• Aside from the initials of our founder’s last names (Gino Zepponi & Norman deLeuze) the letters ZD allude to “Zero Defects,” a quality control term that applies just as well to our wines as to the rocket propulsion programs our engineering founders worked on before starting a wine business.
• Chris started working at ZD in 1996. Prior to ZD, he worked at Opus One and Artesa.
• The CA Chardonnay comes from cooler coastal sites. They have many long-standing relationships with growers and the grapes are certified organic.
• ZD sells 90% of its wine through restaurants. So, making their wine food friendly and with good acidity is crucial.
• They actively distribute their wines in 8-9 states.
• They like to hold over 500 cases from each vintage to eventually release as a “Library Selection” when ready.
• Rosa Lee Petit Verdot is named after Norman’s wife. She was also the life of the party!
• The winery sits on 3.25 acres in Rutherford.

Below is a summary of the new-release ZD wines that we covered with John and Chris. The links below are to our full reviews. If you are interested in ordering and trying these wines, you will find many of these wines via your favorite fine wine shop or on top quality wines lists. You can also purchase these wines on the ZD Winery website.

1) ZD 2022 Chardonnay “California” $44 (KWGTP 92)
2) ZD 2022 Chardonnay “Reserve” (Carneros) $85 (KWGTP 94)
3) ZD 2022 Pinot Noir “Carneros” $60 (KWGTP 93)
4) ZD 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Napa Valley” (Library Selection) $107 (KWGTP 94)
5) ZD 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “Napa Valley” $78 (KWGTP 93)
6) ZD 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Napa Valley) $230 (KWGTP 94)
7) ZD 2021 Petit Verdot “Rosa Lee” (Napa Valley) $60 (KWGTP 93)

You can find reviews of past and future ZD wines that we cover on the KWG ZD Winery page on our website. We hope you enjoy these terrific wines as much as we did. Cheers! – Ken

By Ken

Ken launched in November 2006.

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