Zd Wines Is Proud to Announce Promotions of Two Core Employees

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Rafael Llamas, Jr., and Greg Chouinard promoted in the production of world-class wines

Rafael (Raf) Llamas, Jr., accepted the role of vineyard manager, and Greg Chouinard was promoted to the position of cellar master.

ZD Wines and the deLeuze family are proud to announce promotions of two core employees. Rafael (Raf) Llamas, Jr., accepted the role of vineyard manager, and Greg Chouinard was promoted to the position of cellar master.

Raf was born and raised in Napa and learned the stewardship of tending the land from a very early age. Both of his parents were viticulturists and he spent his summers working alongside his father, Rafael Sr., who is entering semi-retirement after 30 years of tireless dedication as the head vineyard manager for ZD Wines. Raf was the natural choice for the deLeuze family to fill his father’s shoes, not only for his plentiful knowledge of organic farming, but also for his passion to continue improving ZD’s sustainable approach to grape growing.

After graduating from California State Fullerton in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, Raf moved back to Napa in 2013 and went through the Associate of Science program at Napa Valley College with a specialization in viticulture. When Raf was hired by ZD Wines in 2014, he continued to work alongside his dad in the vineyard, and also offered unique customer experiences in the tasting room while hosting guests.

Raf is now in charge of overseeing and improving the organic farming of 15 acres of Chardonnay and 14 acres of Pinot Noir at ZD’s Carneros Estate, as well as 3 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon at ZD’s Rutherford Estate.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Raf, who we watched grow up in our vineyards, to lead our sustainable farming goals at ZD Wines,” expressed Robert deLeuze, the CEO and Director of Winemaking. “We know our vineyards are in the best hands possible.”

Greg Chouinard was born and raised in Napa Valley and developed a passion for grapes starting at a young age. He has worked at ZD Wines since 2014, beginning as a welcoming face in the tasting room. Greg’s drive to learn more and be hands-on with wine production led him to working in ZD’s cellar when a position became available in 2016. His endless enthusiasm to learn more and produce world-class ZD wines has earned him the promotion to cellar master.

Greg is a part of the winemaking team led by Senior Winemaker Chris Pisani and Winemaker/Partner Brandon deLeuze. “Greg Chouinard has risen to the opportunity to become our cellar master with his outstanding work ethic,” notes Brandon deLeuze. “He’s been in our cellar for over 5 years, and we’re grateful for his dedication and hard work,” deLeuze continued.

Founded in 1969, ZD Wines crafts award-winning Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with two small-production wines under the “Rosa Lee” label, named after the founding matriarch. ZD is also known for Abacus, a solera-style blend of Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Abacus XXIV, which includes 30 vintages of the winery’s 100% Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, is available this fall

ZD Wines is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 8383 Silverado Trail in Rutherford. Reservations are required for all tours, and highly recommended for the Vineyard View Tasting. Appointments can be made by calling (800) 487-7757 or emailing experiences@zdwines.com.

About ZD Wines
ZD Wines is owned and operated by the deLeuze family, who is dedicated to producing world-class wines, sustainable winemaking, and giving back to the community. Located in the Rutherford region of the Napa Valley, the winery and hospitality center offer panoramic valley views of premium Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and the Mayacamas mountain range to the west. The deLeuze family produces wines from their certified organic vineyards in the Rutherford and Carneros regions, as well as organic vineyards in Napa, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Sonoma. With innovative winemaking practices, they produce wines of quality, consistency, and style. ZD Wines celebrates over 50 years of winemaking and can be found online at http://www.zdwines.com and @ZDWines on Facebook and Instagram.

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Teresa D'Aurizio
ZD Wines
1 707-963-5188
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Brianna Brockmeyer