ZD's Founder and a true pioneer in the wine industry, Norman deLeuze was a man of passion, dedication, and character. In 2007, Norman passed away following a battle with Lymphoma, though his legacy is carried on by his wife and three children. Rooted in the traditions he established in 1969, ZD Wines continues to produce world class wines with "quality, consistency and style."
Norman deLeuze was born in Berkeley where he attended local schools and grew up working in his father’s grocery store. There, he began developing his unbridled entrepreneurial spirit. After graduating from high school, he joined the US Navy where he served as photographer’s mate during the Korean War. Upon returning home, he earned a degree from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering. At the same time, Norman and his new wife, Rosa Lee, began their family.
Fascinated with the aero-space industry, Norman took his first job as an engineer at Aerojet General in Sacramento where he enjoyed the technical aspects of engineering. In 1969, he and a fellow aerospace engineer decided to try their hand at commercial winemaking. Their hard work evolved into ZD Wines. The winery became an all consuming commitment for both partners and their families. In 1978 Norman left his full time job at Optical Coatings Laboratory to operate ZD Wines full-time. His commitment to producing world-class wines built a company recognized for its excellence.
Norman took great pride in creating a business which brought his family together, where each member could participate and contribute in their own way. His down to earth attitude to life fit well into the approach he took of limited intervention in winemaking and organic vineyard practices. Over the years, he measured his success through the happiness of his immediate family and his extended family of employees at the winery.
Norman was a member of the Napa Valley Vintners and the Kiwanis Club of Napa. He was committed to his weekly Kiwanis meetings, joining his life-long friend, Dave Bell, in serving the community.
A man with strong convictions, he followed his beliefs of a non toxic approach to health care eventually building a relationship with the UC Davis Oncology Department. He and his family created the “deLeuze Family Endowment for a Non-toxic Cure for Lymphoma."
Norman was a soft-spoken man with great integrity who will be missed by many, especially his family including his wife of 52 years, Rosa Lee; daughter, Julie; sons, Robert (Sheryl), and Brett (Natalie); and his grandchildren, Brandon, Jill, Connor, Kayla and Alexandria Pearl. He is also survived by his sisters, Beverly Luce and Linda Orr and nephew, Michael White.
deLeuze Family Endowment for a Non-Toxic Cure for Lymphoma
payable to: deLeuze Family Endowment UC Davis
mail to: ZD Wines
8383 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558