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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n05)
The Wine Scene - by Jill A. Ditmire
posted: Mar. 01, 2019

Wine Scene header

Chateau YOU
hateau Souverain holds a special place in the hearts and palates of California Cabernet fans. In 1944, Leland Smith bought ground on Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley, pulled out the prune vines, and planted Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine grape thrived in that soil and climate. Smith's pioneering spirit created one of the most coveted areas in which to grow Cabernet. Wines from Howell Mountain are distinctive with bold, intense flavors and high price tags.

The Wine Scene - by Jill A. Ditmire
image courtesy of Jill A. Ditmire

The winery moved to the Alexander Valley in Sonoma county in the 70's and expanded its wine making by creating wines from grapes grown in that area as well. In 2006 it moved to a new home in one of Sonoma county's oldest locations, the historic Asti winery. I've had the pleasure of sampling the wines at both locations, including its modern style of classic Cabernet Sauvignon. It's rich and bold with layers of black and red fruit and warm spice that lingers nicely in a smooth silky finish.
The Chateau Souverain name comes from Smith's spin on the French word "sovereign". The icons on the label reflect that sentiment. A crown represents the wineries lineage as one of the first in the state. The grape leaf reflects its commitment to varietal and style. And the California grizzly bear pays homage to the history of the region and its original residents.
Chateau Souverain's respect for the past is equaled by its vision for the future that includes making wine more approachable and fun to share. Hence the FREE personalized label. Make yours at and instantly have your very own " chateau" or "house" wine. Or just enjoy a bottle with the original label. The winery makes that easy too.
Local retailers are listed at

Jill A. Ditmire is an Omnimedia wine specialist, AWS certified wine judge, freelance broadcast journalist and 20+ year home owner in the Warfleigh neighborhood of Broad Ripple. Send your questions and comments to Jill at
Also on INSTAGRAM @jaditmire
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Brought to you by: Broad Ripple collector pins
Brought to you by: Broad Ripple collector pins