The "family feel" at ZD Wines is stronger than ever now that Brandon deLeuze, the son of Robert deLeuze and Grandson of Norman & Rosa Lee deLeuze, has accepted the position of assistant winemaker. ZD’s winemaker, Chris Pisani, is happy to have an extra hand around the winery, stating, "Brandon brings an infectious youthful enthusiasm to the winery, and I welcome his help!"
Brandon is one of the first graduates of the new Wine and Viticulture Program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He gained first hand experience in the Cal Poly and Paragon Vineyards of Edna Valley and at Eberle Winery in Paso Robles after his graduation in June of 2005. However, the depth of Brandon’s winery experience comes from his many years of working summers at ZD. As Brandon likes to point out, he started working at ZD when he was 11, the same age his dad was when the winery was started. Brandon also enjoys snow boarding, soccer, and of course, wine tasting! A personal accomplishment of Brandon’s is that after graduation he completed a 600 mile back-packing trip through Oregon and Washington back country with his best friend, Jacob.
When asked what Brandon brings to the winery, founders Norman & Rosa Lee (Grandparents) state: "Brandon brings freshness, excitement, and enthusiasm for now and the future".. CEO/Winemaster (Dad) says "This is a father’s dream come true". ..President (Uncle Brett) enjoys mentioning that "Brandon brings a third generation perspective to our winery"…. Our Administrative Director (Aunt Julie) adds "and he has a really cute smile".
Brandon is looking forward to his first full crush at ZD. "This is the most exciting time of year. Harvest is when we give it our all, and thankfully this time I do not have to leave for school as things start really getting fun! The crush pad is my classroom now, and anything less than an A for 2006 just won’t fly." After harvest, Brandon is looking forward to representing ZD Wines at some of the great venues around the country along with his cellar duties.