ZD Winery has been around since 1969, a time when there were just a handful of wineries compared to the 400 wineries that now grace the Valley. Remarkably, you don’t hear much about this winery. It seems that it is able to quietly go about the business of making really good wines without a lot of fanfare. When we arrived on our visit, midweek, the spacious tasting room had no visitors but us. Later, one single person dropped in but that was it. The winery is easy to miss. It is at a location on the Silverado Trail where it sits below the level of the road and just as you catch a glimpse of the winery you are past the entrance. The winery is located about two miles north of Oakville Cross Road. If you pass Mumm’s, you have missed ZD wines.
You have two choices for tasting, a $10 flight and a $15 flight. We chose to share a $10 tasting. ZD has a long reputation for its quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. But they also make some dazzling Cabernet. We thought the 2004 Cabernet was wonderful, very soft and flavorful with no knockout tannins on the mouth. The Rosa Lee Riesling is a refreshing wine made in a German style. The winery claims it is a summer wine but we think this wine is fine just any time of the year. This wine is available only at the winery. ZD makes about 30,000 cases of wine per year, mostly from estate vineyards that are organically farmed.
We like everything we tasted at ZD. Our host also opened two wines not on the tasting list, both Pinot Noirs that were totally outstanding. As you might expect, these carefully made and delectable wines are expensive. The majority of their wines are priced above $30 per bottle.
The Good: Beautiful and spacious tasting room, organically grown estate vineyards, delicious wines, family owned.
The Bad: Tasting fee, no picnic grounds, only one bottle under $20
Overall Rating: 4.5 (5 Point Rating Scale)