Halloween is more than just a day at Flora Springs…it’s an entire season! After all, with one of the few remaining Napa Valley Ghost Wineries on our property, we’re reminded year-round that there are phantoms and spirits who walked here before us. So we celebrate in a big way, dreaming up fun costumes, planning spooky tastings and events, such as our Ghost Winery Tour, and looking for new ways to decorate The Room, The Estate and our own homes. For General Manager Nat Komes and his wife Anne there’s another reason to celebrate: their wedding anniversary falls on October 31st!
Napa Valley Halloween
Of course in Napa Valley the wine you serve on Halloween is nearly, if not just, as important as the candy bowl! It’s the adult version of the “treat,” and that’s why we put so much effort into producing special Halloween-themed wines for our Wine Club and Mailing List Members. These are not your average Halloween wines, made to drink and forget. We set the bar high in terms of quality, using some of the best fruit from our estate property, including Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Because these vineyard blocks are small, they lend themselves perfectly to these limited-edition wines.
Our Halloween labels are also a labor of love. Each year Nat Komes and his team let the creative juices flow as they seek inspiration from album cover art, comic books, children’s book illustrators and other artists to create brand new one-of-a-kind labels and packages. Skeletons, witches, pumpkins and black cats have all found their way onto these labels, in whimsical designs meant to treat, not trick. The only exception is our Ghost Winery Malbec, which always features a hand-drawn etching of our historic stone cellar on a label reminiscent of Flora Springs’ earliest releases.
We’d love to hear about your Halloween traditions and party ideas. If you have a story or tradition to share, email us at email@example.com or check out our We LOVE Halloween Pinterest board where we have collected all types of creative entertaining tips and ideas for a spooky wine tasting party.
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.
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.
The latest round of emojis has been announced, and a total of 230 new ones will be coming out this year—but #wedidntgetawhitewineemoji (insert the new yawning face emoji).
So we are renewing our call for the establishment of a #whitewineemoji. We think every wine lover deserves the opportunity to fittingly share their #currentstatus while drinking white wine. There’s a rainbow of cocktails – and even two beer options – so why is there only a red wine emoji?
Help us get the word out again by sharing your summer white wine adventure story on Instagram or Facebook and use hashtag #whitewineemoji – you’ll get a chance to win a YETI cooler and Flora Springs swag!
The contest ends May 16, and the winner will be announced on #ChardonnayDay—May 23, so see the contest details and enter to win today.
For both Nat and Anne Komes, art – in its many forms and varieties – plays a central role in their busy lives. “Just as you must have wine on your table, you must have art in your life,” says Anne. “It gives you more perspective and depth, it makes life more beautiful.”
The Komeses both have artistic backgrounds: Nat was an English Literature major in college and once published a book of poetry. Anne, a native of France, is the daughter of a painter and a music agent who represented Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz. She herself is a sculptor who works in clay. The couple often go to museums and galleries with their two children and enjoy collecting artistic works during their travels. They recently brought home a piece from a local artist exhibiting at the Brinton Museum near Big Horn, Wyoming where they were vacationing with their family. “It’s wonderful to have a reminder of the places we’ve been, and Nat and I love to support local talent,” says Anne.
At Flora Springs, Nat flexes his creative muscle by working with an array of artists on special wine labels, including those he develops for his annual Halloween-themed wines. He finds inspiration all around him – from album cover art and children’s books to the skateboarding culture that has fascinated him since he was a teen. “There’s art everywhere once you look for it,” says Nat, whose recent project, Wine Love Stories, (a 2012 Red Blend) features a label straight out of the romance comics genre of the 1940s and 50s.
The wine is one of the featured offerings during Arts in April at The Room in St. Helena, a month-long celebration of the arts with a special installation by Napa-based artist John Bonick. “Each year in conjunction with Arts in April we commission an artist or artists to create original artwork for display on the exterior and interior of The Room,” says Nat. “It’s is our way of bringing wine and art together, celebrating the roles they each play in enhancing the quality of our lives.”
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in the Napa Valley Register and can be found here.
Arts in April reception with John Bonick at Flora Springs Winery April 12
Flora Springs will hold an artist reception with John Bonick, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12, at The Room in St. Helena.
For this year’s Arts in April installation, Bonick has created “Flora’s Garden” – a series of 8 feet by 3 feet tulips of dibond aluminum adorning the exterior façade of The Room in St. Helena.
He has also created a 10-feet tall wine bottle made entirely of grapevine cuttings from Flora Springs’ estate, a signature piece that Bonick originally developed for BottleRock Napa Valley. Several of his paintings, which have been featured in San Francisco’s Andrea Schwartz Gallery and shown in museums in the Bay Area and beyond, will also be on display.
Flora Springs’ “Arts in April Artful Wine Flight,” featuring the 2017 Dashaway Chardonnay, the just-released 2012 Wine Love Stories Napa Valley Red Blend, and 2016 Ghost Winery Malbec, will be served, along with light appetizers.
Flora Springs was excited to be part of the Premiere Napa Valley 2019 wine auction, which brought in close to $3.7 million this year.
Held each February, Premiere is a who’s who of the wine world, with wineries, wholesalers and retailers coming together to celebrate Napa Valley wines. It’s a wonderful time to connect with our trade partners throughout the country, and Winemaker Paul Steinauer and National Sales Director John Schulz, who represented us at the event, were pleased to see friends and colleagues from as near as California and as far as Florida.
Our auction lot, which we dubbed IV Appellations, was a 100% 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Howell Mountain. Here’s what Paul says about the wine: “Because it was sourced from four unique single vineyards the wine imparts a great deal of complexity; melding red fruit characteristics from the valley floor in Oakville with black fruit characteristics from the other sites makes for a multi-dimensional flavor profile.”
The five-case lot brought in $10,000. Flora Springs also participated in a PNV Lot Preview event put on by the Rutherford Dust Society, which was attended by over 150 people. We poured our 2016 Rutherford Hillside Select, which will be released in April. Although it’s still young, guests commented on how approachable it is even now.
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!
Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.
The Spring Festival is a time of celebration – to welcome the new year with a smile and let fortune and happiness continue. At the same time, the Spring Festival involves somber ceremonies to wish for a good harvest.
Here at Flora Springs, for the third year now, we have chosen to celebrate Chinese New Year with a playful, strikingly etched and hand painted magnum of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
2020: Year of the Rat
The Year of the Rat promises good fortune in career and love and prosperity to those who are industrious, diligent and positive. The rat is the first of the twelve Zodiac animals, with one ancient myth proclaiming the animal was the first to arrive at the party when the order was decided. See the 2015 Year of the Rat Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum.
2019: Year of the Pig
To the Chinese, the pig symbolizes wealth as well as diligence, compassion and generosity. (Is it a coincidence that we store our pennies in ‘piggy’ banks?)The pig is the twelfth and last of the Zodiac animals, with one ancient myth proclaiming that the animal is last because it was late to the party at which the order of animals was decided. See the 2015 Year of the Pig Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is China’s most important traditional festival. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day. The Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February. In 2019, Chinese New Year is Tuesday, February 5th.
In the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 is the Year of the Pig – an animal that to the Chinese symbolizes wealth as well as diligence, compassion and generosity. The pig is the twelfth and last of the Zodiac animals, with one ancient myth proclaiming that the animal is last because it was late to the party at which the order of animals was decided.
We have chosen to celebrate the Year of the Pig with this playful, strikingly etched and hand painted magnum of our 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Twice the size of a standard wine bottle at 1.5 liters, magnums are ideal for entertaining, for extended aging – and also make stunning gifts. Only 180 bottles were produced, learn more about this very limited wine.