Reasons to be Grateful in 2020

December 23, 2020

Despite its many challenges, 2020 also offered new ways of interacting with you, a few “firsts,” and many reasons to be grateful. Here are just a few:

Our family presented leis to the first 100 guests at our 2017 Trilogy Party.
Trilogy Release Party

We found new ways to connect with you through virtual tastings and curbside pickups.St Helena Tasting Room

We were named “Best Hidden Gem Winery” in Napa Valley Life Magazine.Outdoor Wine Tasting in St Helena

We released the 2017 Howell Mountain Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon—our first new Single Vineyard Cabernet in over two decades, with a 94 point score from James Suckling.Single Vineyard Cabernet

We celebrated John Komes’ 80th birthday.John Komes

We released our first wine in cans, the 2019 Honest Bucker Pinot Grigio from sister brand Bodacious Wines.Wine in Cans

We shipped a record amount of wine to Wine Club Members and customers; thank you for your support!

@livegoodwithmax

 

 

We completed our 42nd harvest.Napa Valley Harvest

We supported Napa Valley wildfire relief efforts with a Halloween Dinner & Wine event and other initiatives, and thanks to you, donated over $5,500 to the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Fire Disaster Relief Fund.

@DowntownDani

 

 

 

Maximilian Riedel, 11th generation glassmaker at the world-renowned Riedel Wine Glass Company, shared his experience of opening and tasting our 1991 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with his 88,000 Instagram followers: “..what a joy. The wine has been in my cellar for a very long time…look at that color, fun. Cheers!”

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Maximilian Riedel (@maxiriedel)

As another year comes to a close, we want to take a moment and thank you for letting us be a part of your lives. We are fortunate and grateful that you choose Flora Springs to accompany your meals, toasts, celebrations and special occasions. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2021!

This Year’s Etched Holiday Wines: The Inspiration

November 10, 2020

Etched Holiday Wines

Our etched and hand-painted Holiday Bottles are one of Flora Springs’ most treasured traditions, a way for us to give you exclusive access to rare wines in festive, one-of-a-kind bottlings.

This year Nat Komes found inspiration from a vintage greeting card he uncovered in his Grandmother Flora’s attic, an illustration of a cardinal perched on a holiday wreath. Christened the “Christmas bird” for its spectacular red color, the cardinal is a symbol of the beauty and warmth of the holiday season. This brilliant bird found its way onto each of our holiday designs, our Holiday 2020 Gift Guide, and even throughout our holiday photo shoot.

Etched Holiday Wines - Flora's Cardinal

Etched Holidy Wines - Festive Fox

Etched Holiday Wines - Joyful Skater

Trilogy

See our entire collection of Holiday Wines.

John & Nat Komes Featured in Napa Valley Register

October 2, 2020

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in the Napa Valley Register and can be found here.

John & Nat Komes

‘I’ll tell you a story,” John Komes said. He was standing in front of a colorful painting that depicts Flora Springs Winery, which he and his family launched in 1978 in a pre-Prohibition ghost winery in St. Helena.

“We decided we wanted a painting,” he said, recounting how the family invited Cynthia Fitting, an artist living in Sacramento, to come to Flora Springs to talk about a project.

“When she was leaving, her car wouldn’t start.” Fitting flagged down an employee, just leaving the winery, to ask for a jump. Too busy, the man replied, and he hurried off to a sales meeting.

Fitting got the commission and produced the vivid, charming painting, which portrays the winery and its people…”Read more.

The Places In Between

August 10, 2020

One of the many reasons Napa Valley is such a superb region for growing wine grapes is its incredible diversity. Although a mere 30 miles long and several miles wide, the valley is home to a wide range of microclimates and a vast array of soil types. Over the years, this diversity has led vintners and growers to create defined grape growing areas within Napa Valley. These areas, which reflect their regional designations, are called American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs.

Famous Napa Valley Sign

The Napa Valley is itself an AVA having received its own designation in 1981. It is California’s first recognized AVA and the second in the United States. Over time, sixteen “nested” AVAs have been designated within the Napa Valley AVA. Flora Springs owns and farms vineyards in five of these, including the St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll and Los Carneros AVAs.

But what about the places in between, the regions in Napa Valley that are not part of a nested AVA? If you look at a Napa Valley AVA map, you can see there are several areas that lay outside of the nested AVAs, in fact, our Kairos Vineyard, home to our Out of Sight Cabernet Sauvignon, is in one such area.

Kairos is just south of the Stags Leap District, kind of wedged between the Stags Leap, Oak Knoll and Coombsville AVAs,” says General Manager Nat Komes. “So when we bottle the Out of Sight Cabernet, we use the Napa Valley appellation on the label. But that doesn’t have any bearing on the quality of the vineyard or wine.”

In fact, there are plenty of properties renowned for high quality grapes and wines that do not lie within a nested AVA. Examples include sites that are between the St. Helena and Howell Mountain AVAs as well as vineyards found east of Oakville in the mountainous area known as Pritchard Hill.

For now, says Nat, “The Kairos Vineyard is a perfect example of the quality that can come from areas outside the nested AVA system.” For proof, look no further than Flora Springs Out of Sight Cabernet Sauvignon.

Out of Sight Cabernet Sauvignon

Presenting Dust & Glory

July 8, 2020

We are so pleased to introduce our first new Single Vineyard Cabernet in over two decades. John and Nat have been working on this project for years, tasting wines from all over the appellation to find just the right flavor and tannin profile. As they explored and experimented, they finally identified a wine from one of the highest elevation sites in the AVA that met their criteria, a beautifully expressive mountain Cabernet, distinct from our other Single Vineyards but no less prized. Why Dust & Glory?

2017 Howell Mountain Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon

Presenting the 2019 Soliloquy: A Singular Wine

June 15, 2020

By General Manager Nat Komes

Soliloquy is named for Flora Springs’ proprietary Sauvignon Blanc clone, a singular clone entirely unique to us.

It nearly went extinct when the vines became diseased a couple decades ago, but through various heroic measures we were able to preserve the clone in our Crossroads Vineyard. Recently I decided to re-create Soliloquy, relying on my early memory of the wine to produce what I think could be the finest white wine we’ve ever made.

It was a long process, three years of countless blending trials, but today I’m proud to say that the 2019 Soliloquy has earned its place as Flora Springs’ flagship white wine, a fitting companion to our flagship red, Trilogy. I could not be more excited to introduce this singular white wine. Watch our newest video and learn more about its fascinating history.

Learn more about this wine.

Vineyard Update from Winemaker Paul Steinauer

June 20, 2019

In Napa Valley this time of year, you’re likely to see vineyard crews scattered amongst the vines. “What are they doing,” you ask? They are Shoot Thinning and Leaf Pulling.

Shoot thinning and leaf pulling are part of overall vineyard canopy management, as seen here in Sauvignon Blanc vines at our Soliloquy Vineyard. Learn how our Soliloquy Vineyard is entirely unique to Flora Springs and distinct from more common Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in Napa Valley.

Winery with vineyard views

Shoot thinning is a process in which any unnecessary shoots are removed—typically those in the lower regions of the vine. Removing select shoots allows the vines’ energy to be directed towards the primary shoots, which will ultimately bear fruit.

Leaf thinning is conducted for a variety of reasons, particularly in wet years like this one when the canopy tends to be vigorous. Too much vigor can lead to vegetative characteristics—which we don’t want! Removing the leaves curtails this issue. Leaf thinning also opens up the canopy, allowing increased air flow and quicker drying in the event of morning dew or rain, and to prevent mildew in humid conditions. This opening of the canopy also increases light penetration—which is needed for photosynthesis. Sunlight exposure improves grape quality, protects the berry, and also elevates the phenols and polyphenols that are responsible for the color, taste, and flavor of the wine.

Napa Valley Vineyards

While this work is being done, the crews are also positioning the shoots. The shoots may be 24”–36” at this point. If we are working in a vineyard that has a vertical trellis system, there will be a series of horizontal wires running from one end of the row to the other. As the vine grows, the shoots will be tucked into the wire trellis to allow for what is commonly referred to as VSP, or vertical shoot positioning. This allows further opening of the canopy. There are other types of trellises, but VSP is the primary system implemented in most Flora Springs vineyard blocks.

Napa Valley Vineyards

After the initial thinning pass, each block will be monitored in the weeks to come to determine when/if additional passes are to be made.

How are Wine Corks Made?

May 30, 2019

Ever wonder how a wine cork is made? Winemaker Paul Steinauer recently traveled to Portugal for a behind-the-scenes look into the cork-making process and the operations of Flora Springs’ cork supplier. Here’s a peek into how corks are made.

First, a ​cork harvester carefully strips the cork bark from the tree.Cork harvest in Portugal

​Then the cork bark dries out on pallets for several months.How are wine corks made

After drying, the cork goes into stainless steel tanks where it is submerged in water to be rinsed, cleaned and re-hydrated.Where are wine corks from

​Then, the tops and bottoms of the outer bark is removed by a stripping machine.Makikng wine corks

And the bark is cut to the proper width.How do you make a wine cork

After each cork is individually punched out of the bark, it is run through a machine that measures its density, and therefore its ability to contain liquid. If it does not meet a specific density, it is discarded.Wine corks

Our supplier selects cork lots from only the top-quality manufacturers, and then hauls the lots to their facility to undergo additional quality control. They test for appearance and perform a sensory analysis. The corks are warmed to enhance any odor compounds that may be present. They are looking for Trichloroanisole (TCA), which is better known as cork taint and can damage the wine—as well as any other negative odor compounds. If any negative compounds are detected, the entire lot is returned to the manufacturer.Cork making

Random samples from various lots are then placed in these small bottles to undergo a soak test. This test will detect any TCA that may not have been found during smell testing.
where are wine corks from

Once the lots have passed all quality control requirements, samples from each lot are archived at the supplier’s headquarters. If we ever discover a problem with a number of corks, the supplier can reference the problem corks with samples from the same lot to determine what issues may be present.corked wine

A great deal of work goes into the cork-making process, every cork is handled approximately ten times by the time it is approved for use. The “simple” wine cork is an expensive part of the overall wine packaging costs, but necessary to ensure the quality we expect to protect our wines.

Flora Springs Wine

Five Fun Facts:

  1. Cork trees are oak trees.
  2. Cork bark is harvested from 35 – 200 year old trees.
  3. For most 750mL closures, the bark is harvested every seven years.
  4. Most premium corks are harvested in Portugal; Spain is the only other significant producer.
  5. All of the corks Flora Springs uses are harvested in Portugal.

Create Your Own Flora’s Five Cabs & Five Cuts Feast

May 8, 2019

When John Komes bottled Flora Springs’ first Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – the Rutherford Hillside Reserve in 1989 – it became a benchmark for Napa Valley Cabernet, bringing awareness to the concept of site-specific wines. Since then Flora Springs has enhanced its Single Vineyard Program, and today we offer five elegant and powerful wines that reflect the small vineyard sites and even individual blocks in which they are grown – wines so outstanding they deserve to be bottled on their own.

Flora's Five Cabs & Five Cuts
Download our Flora’s Five Cabs & Five Cuts Pairing Guide

 

The idea for “Flora’s Five Cuts and Five Cabs” dinner—which has been one of our most popular events since its inception four years ago—is a nod to John’s early days of selling these Single Vineyard Cabernets. Back then he developed a successful winemaker dinner pairing each Cabernet with a specific cut of premium beef. He found that the words used to describe the texture and tenderness of a steak enhanced the understanding and enjoyment of Cabernet. In true John fashion, he was well ahead of his time, and his innovative concept is still relevant today.

John Komes Greets Guests to Flora’s Five Cabs & Five Cuts Wine Dinner, May 2019
Dinner Guests Enjoying a Perfect Summer Evening at Flora Springs Family Estate
Filet Mignon Paired with Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

 

We’ve made it easy for you to find your perfect pairing. Download our Flora’s Five Cabs & Five Cuts Pairing Guide, then select your beef and order your Single Vineyard Cabernet to pair it with.

Explore the magic of Cabernet and how it enhances the enjoyment of food. Start planning your epic feast now, shop our Single Vineyard special offers.

The 2014 Etched Single Vineyard Cabernet Magnums

Are you looking for a specific vintage of our Single Vineyard Cabernets? Give us a call at (800) 913-1118.

A Barrel-ful of Surprises at the 2016 Trilogy Release Party: Ramp Rippin’ Skateboarders of OC Ramps

February 12, 2019

There may have been a few raindrops but they sure didn’t dampen the spirits of the folks attending our 2016 Trilogy Release Party on February 2nd!

Setting the upbeat tone were the ramp rippin’ skateboarders from OC Ramps, jumping, flipping and generally shredding to the crowd of pumped up onlookers. The lion dancers, decked out in rain-defying, bright yellow costumes, shimmied, shook and celebrated the Chinese New Year (and our new Year of the Pig Cabernet) with their traditional dance of good fortune.

Doing a little shimmying of his own was Nat Komes, Flora Springs’ third generation general manager, host extraordinaire, wearer of the Trilogy fez and mastermind behind the annual Trilogy Release Party. “One of the best parts of planning this party is deciding what special surprises we’ll offer our guests. It’s always about how can we make this event something people will remember forever…what will really set it apart?”

Nat and the extended Flora Springs family outdid themselves with stilt walkers, living statues, a cheese carver, a glass artist and a live performance by the up and coming rock and alt-country David Luning Band. The party was anchored by numerous wine stations pouring the new 2016 Trilogy and an amazing selection of Flora Springs wines – including library and current releases as well as our highly limited Flora’s Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon.

And as always, Flora Springs brought together top local restaurants to present delicious and inventive dishes, our way of sharing the celebration of our world class wine, Trilogy, with the community. We heard a lot of great comments from our guests throughout the party, but the one that’ll keep us motivated as we plan for next year’s release? “Best Trilogy Party Ever!”

See the OC Ramps team in action:

Save the date – February 1, 2020 – for the 2017 Trilogy Release Party. Learn more and mark your calendar!

Menu