Flora Springs has the distinction of being home to one of Napa Valley’s original “ghost wineries” – wineries built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20th century due to vine disease, the Great Depression, and Prohibition. Today, some ghost wineries still exist as ruins, but others, such as Flora Springs, have been renovated and restored to their former glory. Each year we bottle small amounts of estate-grown wines in honor of this illustrious history.
This year, we’re expanding the All Hallow’s Eve Cabernet Franc label artwork to an exclusive, limited-edition line of merchandise. Now you can show your Halloween spirit with clothing, accessories—even a “Stacked Jack” skateboard deck! Shop now.
About John Manders I was educated at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and later took courses at the School of Visual Arts and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where I studied children’s illustration, animation, and life drawing. My non-art interests include restoring my old house and trying to speak Italian.
My work is featured in over 60 children’s books and gazillions of children’s magazines. I am a founding member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators and its first president. I organized the successful Bow Wow Meow art auction that benefited the Animal Rescue League and the PSI scholarship fund. In 2003 I curated Illustration: The Process, an educational exhibit of fourteen illustrators and their working methods. My latest curating effort, Once Upon A Page, an exhibition of Western Pennsylvanian children’s book illustrators, toured the United States in 2006.
My work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh gallery, the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, and I was honored in the 25-year retrospective of Cricket magazine covers that was held at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. That year I was also a participant at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy. In May, 2006 I was named Outstanding Illustrator/Author by the Pennsylvania School Librarian’s Association. In May, 2013 I won a Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society for my work on Jack and the Giant Barbecue.
Note: The following article, written by St. Helena Star tasting panel writer Catherine Bugue, can also be found here.
It was a dark, dark night, there was a knife…and they were thirsty. So they cut the foil off the top of one of these special Halloween wine bottles, pulled the cork and had a deliciously fun Hallow’s Eve.
These Flora Spring wines are the perfect tale for Halloween night. The winery’s ghoulish fetish has historic roots: Flora Springs is one of the original Napa Valley ghost wineries, built in the mid to late 1900s and later abandoned for decades.
These limited production wines sell out fast, but you can keep them in mind for the next dark, dark night
Note: The following article, written by examiner.com Northern California wine writer Julia Hollister, can also be found here.
Just in time for menacing tales and spirits, Flora Springs brings forth two wines to coincide with Halloween.
The Napa Valley winery has the distinction of being home to one of the regions original “ghost wineries.” These were built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20th century due to three “curses”: the vine disease phylloxera, the Great Depression and Prohibition.
Some remain shuttered but Flora Springs was restored and produces wickedly delicious selections.
Its 2013 small production Ghost Winery malbec [more information here] ($55) exudes chocolate, ripe plum and blueberry notes followed by thrilling spice, cedar and white pepper flavors. This is a muscular wine not meant for the faint of heart; but for those who dare to sip in the dark. Serve this with sauced ribs or roasted bat wings.
Behind the label – the haunting figure of the specter of doom holding an “Omega” (the end) flask – is the limited production “All Hallow’s Eve” 2013 cabernet franc [more information here] ($50). But, don’t be afraid. Aromas of clove and sage gently tempt the senses as haunting flavors of cinnamon, dark cherry and strawberries seduce the palate. Pour this spirited selection with boned chicken with red reduction or eye of newt.
So, light the candles and let mysterious forces bring ghostly magic into your glass.
Note: The following article, excerpted below, was published in the San Jose Mercury News on October 6, 2014 and can be found here.
8 great Halloween winery adventures
Vines gnarled like a witch’s back. Cobblestoned barrel rooms splattered with red stains. Labs brimming with beakers and gurgling mystery brews.
Face it — wineries were made for Halloween. This month, vintners from Sonoma to the Santa Cruz Mountains are unlatching their cellar doors to host costume parties, pagan balls, horror movie screenings, pumpkin patches and even a carnival for kids.
Flora Springs’ The Room Halloween Harvest Picnic & Movie Night
The bash: October’s movie night will feature attendees’ favorite scary movie — check the winery’s Facebook pagefor the final vote — screened in the rooftop lounge, plus a classic candy and popcorn bar. Want to make a night out of it? Begin with live music in the vineyard courtyard along with a picnic (bring your own or order via the winery two days in advance).
See our Events page for more information on the Movie Night Series (runs August – October every year) and all our events. For more information on visiting The Room, click here.
Note: The following article, written by St. Helena Star tasting panel writer Catherine Bugue, was published in the St. Helena Star on October 6, 2014 and can be found here.
The name Wes sends chills up my spine; no offense to the designer, Wes Freed, who created the eerily fun label on Flora Springs’ Halloween-inspired wine.
The designer shares first names with the man who took horror to new heights in films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Fifteen years later, I still cringe when I hear just the name of a Wes Craven film.
Luckily, this Ghost Winery label can dominate dinner conversation on Halloween, not white masks. The wine ($50) is rich and fruity, more syrah-like than characteristic cabernet franc; but delicious – and good fun.
Flora Springs is one of the valley’s treasured ghost wineries: first built in the late 1800s, abandoned, and then gloriously resurrected.
You can see this Halloween label on FloraSprings.com, or by visiting the winery. If your name is Nancy, however, we highly suggest you don’t run through the hallways…
Note: The following article, written by St. Helena Star tasting panel writer Catherine Seda Bugue, was published here in the St. Helena Star on October 10, 2013.
In college, some friends and I resolved ourselves to go trick or treating. Amongst the shorter set, consisting of a few fairy princesses and Draculas, we trumped up the long walkways of the mansions in our college’s ritzy New York suburb. Many a good neighbor greeted us with grins but several also pulled out wine glasses and offered a sip of this or a shot of that. Halloween treats had gone up a notch.
To commemorate their century-old ghost winery, Flora Springs has once again released a special Halloween wine, this time petit verdot. The art on the label by Wes Freed is worth it all (and $20 posters are for sale on the website), but the wine ($55), from fruit on Atlas Peak, will be appreciated by those wanting rich plummy flavors with lots of oak-influenced sweet spice flavors like vanilla and cinnamon.
To get into the ghoulish mood, you can witness the mad scientist (aka GM Nat Komes) at work in the Flora Springs cellar in their newest video on florasprings.com.
Learn more about our 2011 Ghost Winery Petite Verdot here. You can also visit our YouTube channel to watch “It’s Alive!” starring Flora Springs General Manager and Ghost Winery Mastermind Nat Komes.