Halloween is always a cause for celebration at Flora Springs, and all year long we look forward to releasing our Halloween Wines.
For 13 years now, we’ve paid tribute to our ghostly history by producing special Halloween wine bottles for our Wine Club and Mailing List Members. Some years a favorite label is sold out upon release to the Wine Club. We enjoy giving exclusive access to wines crafted with our Napa Valley estate-grown Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
General Manager Nat Komes has done it again! This year’s one-of-a-kind Halloween-themed label is sure to delight club members and All Hallows’ Eve lovers everywhere. Nat worked with comic book illustrator, graphic novelist and digital comics pioneer, Steve Ellis, to develop a label that just might be our scariest ever. Steve is no stranger to Flora Spring’s Halloween shenanigans, as he created the label for our 2017 All Hallows’ Eve Cabernet Franc. Against the backdrop of a full harvest moon, a menacing bat hovers above the Flora Springs vineyard where the crew brings in the Cabernet Franc for this wine. Harvesting at night, a practice the Komes Garvey family pioneered in the 1980s, keeps the grapes and pickers cool, but it may also attract the attention of these fierce creatures of the night. Harvest crew beware!
This limited-production Cabernet Franc has lovely aromas of sweet hay, black cherry, boysenberry and cassis that might just send shivers down your spine! With a warm entry and flavors of plum, cherry tobacco and worn leather, the wine is swathed in soft tannins and lengthened by notes of caramel, vanilla and mocha. Lavishly flavored and lush on the palate, the wine is finely balanced with a lingering finish of brown sugar, marshmallow and sassafras.
May 1 is Lei Day, a celebration of Hawaiian culture – or the aloha spirit.
The first Lei Day was celebrated May 1, 1927 in downtown Honolulu. Over time, the holiday grew in popularity as more and more people began to wear lei on May 1. Now “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i” is highly anticipated each year by the people of Hawaii and visitors who plan their entire trip around the festivities.
Our matriarch, Flora, left Hawaii for San Francisco in 1929, so she was there for the beginning of Lei Day in Hawaii!
Flora Komes always described her life as beautiful, and so it was, starting with her roots in Honolulu, Hawaii where she was born on November 7, 1911. Of Portuguese descent, Flora loved collecting shells, hula dancing and baking bread, a hobby that won her several blue ribbons at the local fair. Flora was also a born nurturer, whether it was tending a bird with a broken wing, a small, struggling plant, or a scraped knee. Read Flora’s story.
2022 is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac, representing the third in line of the twelve Zodiac animals. As one might expect, people born in the Year of the Tiger are courageous, daring and ambitious. They are also generous and self-confident, committed to helping others with a distinct sense of justice. This etched and hand painted magnum depicts this brave and independent-minded creature in all her glory. Best to keep the Tiger on your side!
This dense and polished red blend from 2017 shows ripe blueberry, black currant and fresh plum flavors layered with appealing notes of toasty oak, espresso, cola and vanilla. This is a full-bodied, boldly-flavored wine, supremely well-balanced with lively acidity, a generous texture and sleek, silky tannins. Pull this out on February 1, when the Ox cedes to the Tiger. See the 2017 Year of the Tiger Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum.
Your gifts and wine shipments are important to us. You may have heard that shipping is expected to take longer this year. Order deadlines start today, December 9. See our Holiday Shipping Guide for details.
Our wine experts are standing by to assist with all your shopping needs – including unique gift ideas, custom gift cards, special delivery requirements, and large corporate or group orders. Simply make a note during checkout, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 913-1118. See our 2021 Holiday Guide or shop now.
Four decades ago we were lucky enough to celebrate our first harvest alongside our parents Flora and Jerry Komes. As we mark our 40th harvest with the release of our 2018 red wines, we thank you for being part of our journey through the years. We are deeply grateful for your continued support of our small, family-owned winery. Happy Thanksgiving!
The Komes and Garvey’s have always been farmers first, and over 40 years the family has acquired 500 acres throughout Napa Valley, 300 of which are planted to vineyards. As farmers we are always aware of the relationship between the earth and our sun and the solstices that mark the seasonal transitions.
What is the Winter Solstice?
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, winter solstice is “the astronomical moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, we have our shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of daylight.” The solstice marks the official start of winter.
When is the Winter Solstice?
The winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:59 a.m. Eastern time.
What Does “Solstice” Mean?
The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still). During the solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator appears to stand still.
Winter Solstice Traditions Around the World
The shortest day and longest night of the year inspire mystical celebrations, both old and new, in anticipation of the sun’s return. According to Wikipedia, “The solstice may have been a special moment of the annual cycle for some cultures even during Neolithic times. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this.”
The start of winter and the winter solstice are celebrated in cultures and religions around the world with various traditions, holidays, and festivals. Today, the winter solstice is a reminder to honor our connection to the natural world. Learn more about holidays and traditions around the December solstice including but not limited to Christmas, Feast of Juul, Saturnalia in Ancient Rome, Gody in Poland, and Chaomos in northwestern Pakistan.
Attired in a golden crown and necklace, our Solstice Hare celebrates winter solstice; we like to imagine him watching over our dormant vineyards as the winter solstice approaches on December 21st. Like our other holiday illustrations in 2021, the illustration is inspired by Flora Springs’ matriarch and muse, Flora Komes, whose love for all living things, both great and small, was legendary. Shop now, and see our Holiday Shipping Guide for helpful ordering details including order deadlines to receive your shipment in time for winter solstice.
Friendsgiving is a blend of friend and Thanksgiving. According to dictionary.com, Friendsgiving is “a gathering of friends to celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast, falling near or on Thanksgiving Day, in contrast to the traditional celebrations that typically involve family.” While the word first appeared around 2007, it’s actually new enough that Friendsgiving didn’t make it into the dictionary until January 2020.
When Is Friendsgiving?
Friendsgiving can be celebrated any day, any time of year, but most gatherings take place in November, particularly the weekend before Thanksgiving. Many people celebrate Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Day too.
How to Celebrate Friendsgiving
Friendsgiving can be as formal or as casual as you and your crew want. We suggest a balanced “Napa Valley Casual” theme – take the food and wine seriously (but not too seriously), but mostly importantly have fun.
Set the tone with hors d’oeuvres that look fancy, but are easy to make. Bonus points for appetizers that can be made or prepped in advance. And don’t be shy about asking your guests to each bring a dish to share. Here are a few of our favorites.
Gougères Recipe from Bon Appétit These delicate cheese puffs always impress. Once you get the hang of the dough, you’ll serve them at every opportunity.
Makes about 50 Servings
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 ounces (1½ cups) grated Comté cheese or Gruyère
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 400°. Bring butter, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add flour, and stir to combine.
Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring vigorously, until a dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan and dough is no longer sticky, about 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and let dough cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between additions. Mix in cheese and pepper.
Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a ½” round tip (alternatively, use a plastic bag with a ½” opening cut diagonally from 1 corner). Pipe 1” rounds about 2” apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Whisk egg yolk and 1 tsp. water in a small bowl; brush rounds with egg wash.
Bake gougères until puffed and golden and dry in the center (they should sound hollow when tapped), 20–25 minutes.
DO AHEAD! Dough can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Gougères can be baked 2 hours ahead; reheat before serving.
Crostini Recipe by Flora Springs Wine Club Manager Madeline Nossiter
Ingredients Makes about 50 Servings
2 French-style baguettes
12 oz plain goat cheese
Mixed fresh greens herbs of your choice (we recommend thyme, basil, tarragon)
Red Relish – can be store-bought or made with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onions
Cut baguettes into ¼-inch thick slices.
Arrange in one layer on sheet pan and brush each slice with a nice olive oil.
Toast in 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, toasts are done when slightly brown and crispy – let cool.
Spread room-temperate goat cheese on toasts in thin layer.
Top half of toasts with herb mixture and other half with red relish.
Autumn Mixed Greens Salad Recipe by Flora Springs Wine Club Manager Madeline Nossiter
Makes about 10 Servings
Approximately one pound of fresh mixed greens/mesclun
4 ounces aged Asiago or Parmesan Reggiano
3 ounces roasted hazelnuts
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar of choice (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
If greens aren’t washed, wash and dry.
Put greens in large salad bowl, toss with vinaigrette.
Garnish with saved cheese and nuts.
In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well with a small whisk or a fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.
Taste, and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it out with a bit more olive oil or balance the flavors with a little more honey. If the mixture is a little blah, add another pinch or two of salt. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade vinaigrette keeps well for 7 to 10 days. If your vinaigrette solidifies somewhat in the fridge, don’t worry about it—real olive oil tends to do that. Simply let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave very briefly (about 20 seconds) to liquify the olive oil again. Whisk to blend and serve.
Regarding the sides and main dish – go traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all the trimmings, or try something new; we’ll let you decide!
Err on the side of more is better—you don’t want to run out. Like purchasing Thanksgiving wine, figure one bottle per drinking person, and offer a nice mix of red, white, and rosé. Be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages as well. You don’t want anyone over-consuming either. Our wine experts are available via phone at (800) 913-1118, email, or chat if you’d like a hand putting together a mixed case that will please your crowd. Shop now, and see our Holiday Shipping Guide for helpful ordering details including Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving shipping deadlines.
Relax, have fun, and enjoy your friends’ company – cheers!
Flora Springs’ love affair with the Chardonnay varietal began when the winery was founded in 1978. In fact, you could say that it’s Chardonnay that put our winery on the map so many years ago! It has always been one of John Komes’ favorite wines, and since that first vintage, he’s made a Chardonnay every year we’ve been in business. We’d like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at it, always using the best fruit from our Napa Valley vineyards. To celebrate #ChardonnayDay on May 27, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of our favorite Chardonnay milestones.
Our Napa Valley Chardonnay Gets the Gold!
Back in the 1970s and 80s, the highest accolade a winery could earn was a Gold Medal from a wine competition. Our 1979 Napa Valley Chardonnay won a Gold at the prestigious Los Angeles County Fair in 1980. The recognition put Flora Springs on the map, and made everyone, including ourselves, take our winemaking a little more seriously
Full Steam Ahead
“With that surprising win, what had begun as a hobby was becoming a business, and Flora Springs went full steam ahead with producing the very best wines possible.”
“9 Places to Taste Excellent Napa Valley Chardonnay” by NapaValley.com
“While officially founded in 1978, grapes were first planted on this St. Helena property, located at the foot of the Mayacamas, in the late 1800s, which marked the start of Flora Springs’ fascinating history. The winery produces several different chardonnays, each with a unique flavor profile, from the juicy and tropical Family Select Chardonnay to the limited-production Flora’s Legacy Chardonnay, made from a barrel selection of the finest chardonnay of the vintage, in honor of Flora Komes, the inspiration for the winery.
Insider Tip: Flora Springs feels so strongly about the quality of their chardonnay and other white wines that the winery has been a leading proponent of the movement to introduce the #whitewineemoji.” Read the full article.
Our etched and hand-painted bottles are a cherished tradition at Flora Springs, a way for us to commemorate special holidays with festive, one-of-a-kind bottlings. With each holiday release, the etched art changes and provides a unique Napa Valley wine to give or collect for yourself.
Our 2017 Be Mine Red Blend celebrates the most romantic holiday of all, Valentine’s Day, and is the perfect accompaniment to your date night candlelit dinner for two.
Or, delight your Galentine, mom, auntie, or sister with our playful Wine Love Stories.