Ed Killian - Chateau Souverain
Where are you from originally?
I’m a California Native, but grew up as a desert rat in the Coachella Valley. We grew some grapes, but they were all for the table and generally harvested in early July.
How did you get to the Alexander Valley? (what were you doing before becoming a winemaker?)
I came to Sonoma County in 1981 to make wine in Dry Creek Valley and moved to the Alexander Valley in 1992. I was doing wine technical research in the Lodi area prior to moving to Sonoma County.
How long have you been a winemaker?
Not long enough – there seems to always be something new to learn. Counting by harvests, it’s been 29.
What was your ‘A ha’ moment when discovering wine?
Because of a biology professor who was interested in yeasts and fermentations, I became interested in the process of making wine. While trying a lot of home fermentations and failing, I decided to try some real top commercial wines…that first bottle of Gallo Hearty Burgundy did it!
Who do you make wine for?
I’ve been making Souverain wines in the AV for 16 years now.
What’s the best part of being a winemaker?
Having the good fortune to live in beautiful rural countryside like AV and watch grapes ripen.
What is your favorite part of harvest?
The very beginning when the smell of new fermentations fills the air. That’s when the adrenalin is flowing. Later we’re all tired and just want a day off!
Which wine varietal do you most enjoy at home?
Usually whichever one happens to be open at the time.
What do you like to do when you’re not in the vineyard and winery?
I like to garden fresh vegetables to cook with in the summer, and if possible in the colder months, get off to someplace where there’s sun, sand, and water clear enough to dive in.
If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be?
No doubt a teacher, as I come from a long line of teachers. Maybe I could teach about wine?
From the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission "Winegrape Chronicles":
Click here to learn more about Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with Steve Reeder, Winemaker for Alexander Valley's Simi Winery and Alexander Valley Winegrower, Bret Munselle.
Click here to learn more about Harvest time in the Alexander Valley with Kevin Hall, Winemaker for Alexander Valley Vineyards and Alexander Valley Winegrower, Mark Houser.