Flora Springs 2022 Rosé Featured in Forbes Magazine

August 16, 2023

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Forbes Magazine and can be found here.

Featured in Forbes Magazine Rose Feature | Flora Springs Winery Napa Valley

 

“Think Pink: Barbie Would Approve of a Picnic of Tinned Fish and Rosé”
By Jeanne O’Brien Coffey

Pink wine. Lush orangey-pink salmon spread. How could you go wrong?

Everyone else is tying into the Barbie juggernaut, so why can’t I? Tinned fish is so versatile — in Sauternes, France, they mix sardines with cream cheese and serve it on crackers paired with Sauternes wine, naturally. For that combination, choose a young bright one, with less of the sweet intensity of an aged bottle.

We are in our pink era. So, let’s talk rosé. I’m always singing the praises of rosé as a wine that goes with everything year-round — and honestly, most Provencal rosés are custom-made to pair with fish.

The more berry-cherry offerings from other parts of the world, made with different varietals, can be a bit trickier, but there’s likely a tinned fish for every rosé. Toss a couple cans into a beach bag with some fancy crackers or a loaf of French bread — maybe some smoked olives and some sliced in-season cucumbers—and you have a perfect meal in no time that travels anywhere.

Flora Springs 2022 Rosé and smoked salmon: This cherry-fruit-forward rosé ($32), made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Vermentino grapes, is sustainably-farmed in Napa Valley. The big fruit flavors make it a perfect pairing with luscious (and trendy) Fishwife smoked salmon.

Fleurs de Prairie with Sardines: This lovely subtle rosé from the Languedoc ($20), with its lightly pineapple nose and dry minerally strawberry palate, is a good pairing with rich, oily Siesta Co. sardines. Made mainly with Grenache Noir and Syrah, it’s got good structure, yet even adding a squeeze of lemon to tame the oiliness of the fish, the acidity of the wine doesn’t overwhelm. And of course it’s a brilliant way to get your Omega-3s.

Proxies Non-Alcohol canned Sparkling Rosé and vegan tinned fish: While Proxies’ bone dry, limited edition beverage ($30/six-pack), made from a blend of Riesling juice and strawberries with white tea and lime zest, would totally pair with actual fish, it seems fun to serve a wine-substitute with a fish substitute — and the Mushroom Snow Crab from Seed to Surf totally fills the bill, with its sweet-savory profile. The rosé is crushable— luscious bright berry flavors and a hit of citrus balanced with good mouthfeel and a savory finish.

Beau Joie Rose Champagne and caviar: Caviar counts as tinned fish, right? Although you do need to keep it in a cooler rather than pell-mell in your beach bag. If you add this gorgeous bottle ($130), encased in woven copper and made from a 50 percent Pinot Noir and 50 percent Chardonnay blend, heads are guaranteed to turn. Bubbles in general are palate-cleansing and food friendly, so it’s no great surprise that these are a tasty combination.

Priest Ranch Sparkling Rose and uni: This fruity/peachy wine ($60), made from 100 percent syrah grapes, is less restrained than the Beau Joie, and might stand up better to some of the stronger tinned fish — I could see it being very nice with smoked mussels. Or Priest Ranch Estate Chef Dan Solomon suggests La Brujula sea urchin would be a nice complement — rich and buttery with a deep-sea flavor. If you’re feeling fancy, chef says sea urchin is best chilled, and served on warm brioche toast with a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs (top with caviar to really gild the lily).

Flora Springs Rosé

Our 2022 Napa Valley Rosé is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Vermentino grapes and is made the wine using a classic technique known as Saignée. Once the handpicked grapes arrived at the winery, we whole-cluster pressed the fruit, removing the juice from the grape skins quickly in order to preserve freshness and imbue the wine with a lovely, light pink color. Learn more about this wine.

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

We invite you to our St. Helena Tasting Room in Napa Valley for wine tasting while enjoying views of flourishing vineyards and the western hillsides. Plan your Napa Valley trip.

“Lauded as one of Napa Valley’s local hidden gems, the St. Helena winery and tasting room offer visitors a relaxing respite to learn some of Napa’s unique history and experience some of the region’s top-rated Cabernet, Chardonnay, single varietal, and Bordeaux blends, including their award-winning Trilogy.” — Napa Valley Life Magazine

Our Family’s Napa Valley Vineyards

The Komes and Garvey Family has always been farmers first, and over the years the family has acquired 500 acres throughout Napa Valley, 300 of which are planted to vineyard. With estate properties stretching from the cool, rolling hills of Carneros to the famed sub-appellations of Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena, Flora Springs produces varietal wines ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varietals. Each year the family selects a small percentage of the yield for their own wines, selling the remaining fruit to neighboring Napa Valley wineries. This selection puts the focus on quality, not quantity, resulting in hand-crafted wines that meet the family’s exacting standards. Read more about our treasure trove of vineyards.

Flora Springs Featured in Luxe Beat Magazine

July 7, 2023

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Luxe Beat Magazine and can be found here.

Flora Springs Winery Featured in Luxe Beat Magazine

“Summer Cheese, Clambake and Wine Party”
By Jill Weinlein

Summer has officially commenced, and to help celebrate the warm weather, serve a variety of cheese and wine before your clambake party!

Start with great cheese. My favorites to enjoy include Laura Chenel, a Sonoma, California producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses. Its sister brand Marin French Cheese, is California’s oldest cheese company. They have been making handmade artisan cheese at their historic creamery in Northern California since 1865. They combine traditional French cheesemaking techniques with an innovative spirit. The third is Beehive Cheese made in Utah, known as the Beehive State.

Marin French Cheese Golden Gate is a triple crème cheese offering rich and savory notes with a touch of funkiness. This cheese is best served with Flora Springs Napa Valley Family Estate wine. It was named “Best Hidden Gem Winery” in 2020 in Napa Valley Life Magazine. Founded in 1978, the estate vineyards were planted in the late 1800s. Vineyards are located in St. Helena, Oakville, Carneros, Napa Valley, Rutherford, and the Oak Knoll District. Red wines include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. White wines offered include Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Vermentino.

Flora Springs Napa Valley Wines

After farming our Napa Valley vineyards for over 40 years — we know how it’s done. Learn more about our wines.

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

We invite you to our St. Helena Tasting Room in Napa Valley for wine tasting while enjoying views of flourishing vineyards and the western hillsides. Plan your Napa Valley trip.

“Lauded as one of Napa Valley’s local hidden gems, the St. Helena winery and tasting room offer visitors a relaxing respite to learn some of Napa’s unique history and experience some of the region’s top-rated Cabernet, Chardonnay, single varietal, and Bordeaux blends, including their award-winning Trilogy.” — Napa Valley Life Magazine

Our Family’s Napa Valley Vineyards

The Komes and Garvey Family has always been farmers first, and over the years the family has acquired 500 acres throughout Napa Valley, 300 of which are planted to vineyard. With estate properties stretching from the cool, rolling hills of Carneros to the famed sub-appellations of Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena, Flora Springs produces varietal wines ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varietals. Each year the family selects a small percentage of the yield for their own wines, selling the remaining fruit to neighboring Napa Valley wineries. This selection puts the focus on quality, not quantity, resulting in hand-crafted wines that meet the family’s exacting standards. Read more about our treasure trove of vineyards.

A Love Affair With Chardonnay

May 3, 2023

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. In celebration of #ChardonnayDay, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of our favorite Chardonnay milestones.

Pat Garvey First Harvest at Flora Springs
Vineyard Manager Pat Garvey watches as our first Chardonnay grapes are processed
Our first vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay
Our first vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay
Matriarch Flora Komes Overseeing Harvest
Matriarch Flora Komes oversees our first harvest

 

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.”

Flora Springs News Article

 

A “First Growth” Chardonnay

In 1990 Wine Spectator columnist James Laube published California’s Great Chardonnays, recognizing Flora Springs Chardonnay as one of the state’s “First Growths” for the varietal.

James Laube California's Great Chardonnay

 

A Wine for The White House

Over the years Flora Springs Chardonnays have been served at dinners at The White House and the U.S. Capitol, functions attended by heads of state, congressmen and women and government dignitaries.

White House Menu

 

The Legacy Continues

Today we make three Chardonnays, our Flora’s Legacy Chardonnay, the Family Select Chardonnay, and our Jon Nathaniel Lavender Hill Chardonnay, all sourced from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley. While they differ, each one carries the signature style for which we are known: beautiful forward fruit aromas and flavors, rich body and texture from barrel aging and lees stirring, partial malolactic fermentation, and just the right amount of acid to keep the wines fresh and perfectly balanced.

Napa Valley Chardonnay Bottles

Chardonnay Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

“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.” Read more.

Plan your visit to our Tasting Room located in St. Helena, the heart of the Napa Valley.

Shop Flora Springs Chardonnay

Our Flora’s Legacy Chardonnay is a limited-production, one-of-kind wine made in honor of Flora Komes, our mother, grandmother, and the woman who inspired the founding of Flora Springs Winery. Every year we involve the whole family in the creation of this wine, a barrel selection of the finest Chardonnay of the vintage. Shop now.

2020 Flora's Legacy Chardonnay

Flora Springs Featured in Food & Wine Magazine

April 4, 2023

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Food & Wine and can be found here.

Wild Boar Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“41 Cabernet Sauvignons Worth Splurging On”
By Brian Freedman

These are the best bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon for your next anniversary, promotion, or big night in.

Great Cabernet Sauvignon can set you back by several mortgage payments if you’re not careful. Yet there are still plenty of splurge-worthy Cabs from around the world that ring in at under $150 per bottle…still a whole lot of money, but not in the realm of many Cab-based cult wines, or First Growth Bordeaux, which can easily stretch in to the four or five figures depending on the vintage and the provenance. The ones below, listed alphabetically, represent some of the top high-end Cabs around. They range from 2017 to 2020, and all are worth considering for special occasions as we head into the springtime holiday season of Mother’s and Father’s Day, graduations, and more. It’s also worth noting that, though a majority of these are from California, there are terrific ones that can be found from around the world, from great Bordeaux to South America, Australia, and beyond.

2019 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon
There’s so much ripe, sweet, generously spiced wild red berry fruit here, like strawberries and raspberries, as well as kirsch and balsamic notes that lend this wine terrific lift and energy. These notes are for the special holiday edition bottling, a blend of two key vineyard sources, but it speaks well of the range of Cabs produced by Flora Springs, as well.

Flora Springs Single Vineyard Cabernets

Truly elegant and powerful wines, that reflect the place from which they originate. Learn more.

Etched Holiday Wines

Our Holiday Bottles are our way of thanking members for their loyalty and providing them with uniquely elegant bottles ideal for festive holiday celebrations and thoughtful gifts. The brainchild of General Manager Nat Komes, whose grandmother, Flora, imbued him with a love for the holidays, each wine is meticulously etched and painted by hand, with capsules and back labels applied one by one. As the only Napa Valley winery to offer new holiday designs each year, we pour ourselves into this annual project, ensuring that each bottle is absolute perfection inside and out. Learn more.

Flora Springs Trilogy Featured in 25 of the Best Red Blends for 2023 in VinePair

March 28, 2023

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in VinePair and can be found here.

2019 Trilogy Red Wine

“25 of the Best Red Blends”
by Keith Beavers

Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, the U.S. — hell, the entire new world of wine is centered around red blends. Although blending red grapes has been part of wine since antiquity, the category dubbed “red blends” is a relatively new phenomenon. So, how do we define what qualifies as a red blend?

In Europe, even though there are a lot of red blends, they are strictly regulated within appellations. If you make wine outside the region’s set of rules you cannot put said appellation on the label. Here in the States, and in most wine regions outside of Europe, the rules are much more lenient. A red blend is anything you want it to be without having to adhere to any guidelines. Creativity takes precedence. And with so many varieties to choose from within a given wine zone, the category allows winemakers to show that creativity. The wines often have evocative labels and names designed to linger in the memory with blends that can sometimes push the envelope a little.

Although the category has only been around for a short while, it has come a long way. The enormous number of wines we tasted this year shows us that we are just getting started. On this list, you will see wines that span from Northern California to the south of L.A. in Temecula Valley, and from the Texas High Plains to the Mid-Atlantic. This is definitely a category to keep an eye on. Here are the 25 best red blends to drink in 2023, tasted and rated.

Flora Springs 2019 Trilogy Wine Review
Rating: 90
Perfect For: Dinner With The Parents, Steak Dinner, Winning Over the Boss
Drink If You Like: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot

The red blend category is a fairly recent trend in American wine, but Flora Springs has been making wine in this style for a few decades now. Not only that, but it’s their flagship wine. They have it done to a T. This wine is deep and soulful with concentrated fruit. In the calm depth of the wine, the inherent characteristics of the two cabs come through, adding a layer of quiet pepperiness. The weight on the palate is just right balanced by good natural acidity.

Trilogy, Our Flagship Wine

Our 2019 Trilogy marks the 35th vintage of our flagship red wine, a bottling that dates back to 1984 when our family decided to make the finest wine possible by selecting fruit from the highest quality blocks from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley. Back then it was one of Napa Valley’s first proprietary red wines, and we named it for the three Bordeaux varietals which made up the blend. Ever since, Trilogy has consistently earned more than 90 points from wine critics and is admired by fans both for its approachability and ability to age. Learn more about this wine.

Flora Springs 2018 Howell Mountain Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon in Robb Report

February 28, 2023

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Robb Report and can be found here.

2018 Howell Mountain Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon

“The 9 Best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons From the Storied Howell Mountain Appellation”
by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

Long before the 1976 Judgment of Paris put Napa Valley’s vinous treasure on the wine world map, bottles from Howell Mountain were taking home medals at international contests. In 1889, a wine made by Jean Adolph Brun and Jean V. Chaix, pioneers in what is now the high-altitude AVA in the northeast of the valley took home a bronze medal from the Paris World Competition. Ten years later, two other early hillside settlers, W.S. Keyes and Frederick Hess, were awarded gold and bronze medals, respectively, for their Howell Mountain wines. It took almost another hundred years for official government recognition; in 1983 Howell Mountain was named the first AVA within the greater confines of the Napa Valley AVA.

What sets this small American Viticultural Area near Saint Helena apart from many other wine regions is that its perimeter is delineated not just by geographic borders but by altitude: All vineyards must be a minimum of 1,400 feet above sea level. And while many wines from Napa and neighboring Sonoma benefit from cooling Pacific fog that rolls in each morning, Howell Mountain’s vines sit above the fog line, offering full sunlight throughout the day. Mountain conditions create berries with thick skin, offering a higher peel to juice ratio and stronger tannins. At the same time, cooler temperatures at higher altitudes aid in retaining acidity; this balanced tannin and acidity create wines that are made to last. That said, picking at perfect ripeness and a judicious use of oak means that while these will age beautifully for years, no one would fault you for opening a bottle now. Back in the day, Howell Mountain wine was likely to be Zinfandel, but today its vineyards are mainly planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties for blending. Among the region’s 66 member vineyards and wineries you will find familiar faces with national distribution and small volume cult wines that take a little work to acquire. Here’s a selection of Cabs to get you started…

The name Dust & Glory is to honor founder Flora Komes who often used this phrase borrowed from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This delightful wine is purple ink colored when poured from the bottle with very concentrated aromas of blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate. It has flavors of black plum, blackberry and a touch of bramble. The tannins are plush yet firm and the lingering finish has notes of cedar, smoke and mocha. Enjoy now until 2029.

2018 Howell Mountain Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the second vintage of our Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon from the Howell Mountain AVA, the first new Single Vineyard Cabernet to be added to our portfolio in over two decades. We always admired the wines of Howell Mountain, an appellation that sits to the east of St. Helena in the Vaca Mountain range. But we also learned that growing fruit on Howell Mountain comes with its challenges; the grapes are typically late-ripening and the tannins can be overwhelming. But as John and Nat Komes explored and experimented, they 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? Read more.

Flora Springs 2019 Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon Featured in Forbes

December 31, 2022

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Forbes and can be found here.

2019 Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon - Quail Greetings Design

“2022: It’s A Wrap For Wine Writing”
by Lana Bortolot

BEST PACKAGING
From pretty packaging, savvy swag and an inspiring revival, here’s a roundup of some of the bottles and stories that caught my eye this year….

The winery packaged holiday blend of its 2019 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon in a specially etched bottle for its wine club members. This year’s edition is a quail bearing a cranberry-studded wreath.

2019 Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon – Quail Greetings

Beloved in California where they have the honor of being the state bird, quails are known to travel in groups, with adults, both male and female, caring for their young. With his characteristic head plume and cranberry-studded wreath, our festive quail is anticipating the holidays. This illustration is inspired by Flora Springs’ matriarch and muse, Flora Komes, whose love for all living things, both great and small, was legendary.

Our Holiday Bottles
Created especially for our wine club members, our Holiday Bottles are a way of thanking members for their loyalty and providing them with uniquely elegant bottles ideal for festive holiday celebrations and thoughtful gifts. The brainchild of General Manager Nat Komes, whose grandmother, Flora, imbued him with a love for the holidays, each wine is meticulously etched and painted by hand, with capsules and back labels applied one by one. As the only Napa Valley winery to offer new holiday designs each year, we pour ourselves into this annual project, ensuring that each bottle is absolute perfection inside and out.

The Wine
Our 2019 Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from two outstanding, sustainably-farmed vineyards: the Komes Vineyard in Rutherford and our Windfall Vineyard in Oakville. Flavors of black cherry, red plum and kirsch are at the core of this plush and generous Cabernet, accompanied by notes of licorice, sweet basil, and a hint of menthol. A lovely oak component introduces notes of toasted marshmallow and vanilla to the palate, along with attractive hints of cedar and brown spice. This is a full-bodied wine with a soft mouthfeel and smooth tannins that lengthen the warm and satisfying finish. A perfect way to celebrate family during the holiday season. Learn more about this wine.

Flora Springs Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons Featured in International Wine Review

August 30, 2022

Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in International Wine Review and can be found here.

Napa Valley Cabernet Vineyard

Flora Springs is one of the Napa Valley’s storied wineries. Located at the base of the Mayacamas mountain range in Napa Valley, it became famous in the 1990s, especially for its Cabernet Sauvignon. We reviewed Flora Springs wines earlier this year and were so impressed with their Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon blend that we asked to taste their portfolio of single vineyard Cabernets, which are the wines we review in this article. These are exceptionally elegant and flavorful wines. Beginning in 2019, Enrico Bertoz is responsible for the winemaking, having replaced long time winemaker Paul Steinauer, who has retired. Read our earlier article for more about what’s happening at Flora Springs including a review of their unique Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc blend.

The 2020 Napa wildfires means Flora Springs had very limited production in that year. In short, if you want to buy Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon, do so now.

The Wines

Flora Springs 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Holy Smoke Vineyard Oakville Napa Valley
93 points
Dark red. Shows an expansive nose of black currant with deeper notes of loam soil and chocolate shavings that are mirrored on a deeply flavored, mouth filling palate. The texture is silky with a firm structure, juicy acidity, and an overall sense of refinement. The oak is seamlessly integrated with just a hint of toast. And the finish is persistent with moderate tannins. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a single block planted to Clone 4 and matured 18 months in 80% French and 20% American oak.

Flora Springs 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Wild Boar Vineyard Napa Valley
94 points
The Wild Boar Cab is a supple wine with good intensity of fruit. It begins with savory, earthy aromas married to cassis fruit. The attack is soft and refined, leading to a palate of dark fruit with hints of chocolate and loam. Surprisingly accessible with round tannins and a long flavorful finish. Of all the Flora Springs single vineyard Cabernets, this is the one we would choose to drink now. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 30% French and 70% American oak.

Flora Springs 2018 Dust & Glory Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Napa Valley
93 points
Dark red. On the nose, gorgeous up front aromas of blackberry, cassis, and tobacco leaf. Silky smooth attack followed by a beautifully refined mouth feel and concentrated, layered flavors of dark cherry, dark berries and savory dried herbs. A youthful wine, it has a distinct stoney, chalky mineral character. Finishes with a long flavorful finish with soft round tannins. Surprisingly evolved for a mountain wine, but then 2018 was an exceptional vintage. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from one of the highest vineyard sites on the volcanic soils of Howell Mountain; matured 22 months in 94% French and 6% American oak.

Flora Springs 2019 Rutherford Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley
93 points
On the nose, the Rutherford Hillside shows earthy, dark fruit complemented by smoky oak and cooking spice. It’s soft and silky on entry with a beautifully balanced and pure, refined character. Black currant and black raspberry show on the firmly structured and densely flavored palate, but despite its youth this wine is accessible now. Finishes long with dark fruit, cocoa dust, and earthy notes. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a small block of vines on the northwestern edge of the Rutherford appellation aged 18 months in 90% French and 10% American oak. The Rutherford Hillside Cab has been produced as a single vineyard wine since 1994.

Flora Springs Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons

Flora Springs Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons

Truly elegant and powerful wines, that reflect the place from which they originate. Shop our current releases or contact us at (800) 913-1118 to inquire about other vintages.

Wilfred’s Lounge Featured in Wine Spectator & SFGATE

June 29, 2022

John and Nat Komes of Wilfred's Lounge in Napa & Flora Springs Winery in St. Helena, Napa Valley
John and Nat Komes of Wilfred’s Lounge in Downtown Napa & Flora Springs Winery in St. Helena, Napa Valley

“Live It Up in Napa Valley” – Wine Spectator

A tiki bar in downtown Napa is a welcome change of pace—a vacation spot within a vacation town. Wilfred’s, which opened last year, has a strong connection to wine. Owner Nat Komes, general manager of Flora Springs Winery, got the name Wilfred from a Hawaiian relative who used to own a bar in Honolulu. The decor is fun and tiki-chic, with floral patterns, colorful murals, tiki carvings and bamboo accents. There’s ample outdoor seating and enough pirate paraphernalia to remind one of a ride at Disneyland. The food is straightforward island fare, with Spam sliders, poke, a tender Kalua pork entrée, chicken katsu and pineapple fried rice—it’s the sort of place where macaroni salad is offered as a side (and it’s a tasty selection).

Of course, most people are drawn to the exotic cocktails and vibrant nightlife. The drinks (including nonalcoholic options) are flavorful and served in playful glassware. For example, the Waikiki Wipeout (rum, guava, orange, lime, chile and passionfruit) comes in large bowl to be shared among multiple people. Several other drinks offer the option of being served in a collectible tiki mug.

967 1st St., Napa
Telephone (707) 690-9957
Website wilfredslounge.com
Open Lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday
Cost Moderate

Note: This article, “Live It Up in Napa Valley”, written by MaryAnn Worobiec, was originally published in Wine Spectator and can be found here.

Wilfred's Lounge in Downtown Napa
Wilfred’s Lounge Located on the Napa River at 967 First Street in Downtown Napa

“Wilfred’s Lounge, Napa’s only tiki bar, is designed like a pirate ship, complete with ghosts” – SFGATE

I was sitting at the bar, sipping a coconut libation, in the midst of a tropical-feeling heat wave. All of a sudden, a rainstorm erupted, thunder crashing down. Things went dark. Then, it appeared behind me: a ghost pirate, brandishing his sword, fighting for the treasure that he felt was rightfully his.

I wasn’t on a tropical island, and I wasn’t at Disneyland. I was in the middle of downtown Napa, at Napa Valley’s only tiki bar — and I. was. transfixed.

Wilfred’s Lounge describes itself as “a twist on tradition [that has] brought together Napa and Honolulu culture like you’ve never known before.”

I have to admit: I was trying hard to keep my expectations low about Wilfred’s. Being the only tiki bar in Napa Valley (and all of Napa County) meant that the place wouldn’t have to try all that hard — simply by virtue of being the only one, it could easily be called the best.

It turns out, Wilfred’s Lounge can hold its own not just in Wine Country, but it could easily have a place in San Francisco, too. And not only because the place has some original statues from an old Trader Vic’s — the general manager Daniel “Doc” Parks was beverage director at Pagan Idol and Zombie Village in SF.

The drinks are definitely tiki, and they have a serious element of mixology to them. I sat at the bar watching the bartenders crank out libation after libation: for one, they torched a sprig of rosemary for a garnish; for another, a stencil to make a W emblazoned on the top. This one comes in a conch shell that looks like mermaid’s treasure, overflowing with fresh orchids. That one has a house-made coconut banana whip and dehydrated banana spears rising from its glass.

Wilfred’s Lounge would be a great bar anywhere, but it really works in Napa. Wine Country already has a bewitching air about it, so when I walked in, fresh from a vineyard on a sunny afternoon, the transportive nature of a tropical-themed bar with islandy music and bright colors everywhere made sense to my vacation-mode brain. (And if I’m being honest, my pineapple fried rice — with optional added kalua pork as good as what I recently enjoyed on the North Shore of Oahu — was a refreshing departure from the steak-and-red-wine-heavy menus you’ll find in most Napa restaurants.)

But on another level, the architecture just works with the landscape. The building is perched on the Napa River, and there are both downstairs and upstairs patios where you can sit by the water and take in the historic 1847 city and the hills beyond. I didn’t realize it at the time, but part of why Wilfred’s Lounge blends so beautifully into the Wine Country around it is because the restaurant has generations of wine-making history behind it.

Father and son duo John and Nat Komes opened Wilfred’s Lounge in November 2021, naming it after a family member, Wilfred, who was born in Hawaii and whose own bar was a fixture of the Honolulu cocktail scene. Wilfred’s sister Flora moved to San Francisco from Hawaii in 1929, and eventually founded Flora Springs Winery with her husband Jerry. John Komes, one of their three kids, and his son Nat now run Flora Springs and the family’s other wine labels.

This new venture honors the family’s Hawaii roots and wine-making legacy. They’ve even displayed the trunk Flora brought over to California from Hawaii, and have some of her and Jerry’s furniture in the restaurant. There’s real family history in the place, which gives it some heart underneath all the bamboo.

And if the place has some elements of magic to it, there’s a reason for that, too. (See the aforementioned ghost pirate, who appears through a porthole and on a screen that alternates between an idyllic beach and his ghastly underwater realm, and the sudden change of climate indoors from a soft summer night to a sudden rainstorm.)

Wilfred’s was designed by the same man who designed (and owns) High Roller Tiki Lounge in Solvang. It’s an island-meets-Disney tiki bar in Santa Ynez Valley wine country that has elements of owner Michael Cobb’s past life running the food and beverage program at Disneyland’s exclusive Club 33. (Look closely in that place and among the Trader Sam’s-style decor, you’ll find hidden Mickeys and nods to Walt himself.)

Downstairs at Wilfred’s is what you might expect from a tiki bar: bamboo and seagrass offset by intricate wooden carvings by artist Billy Crud and hanging lanterns. Upstairs, I’m just going to be blunt: It’s a pirate ship. It’s an actual, entire interior of a pirate ship constructed inside the upper level of the building, and it is extremely cool — especially since you walk out the ship’s doors (made of sea creatures, of course) and onto a patio overlooking the river.

When you consider the ghost pirate downstairs, Wilfred’s Lounge might draw some inspiration from Pirates of the Caribbean, but there are also other Disney-ish hints inside: The upstairs displays a map of the Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island amid its rum bottles and antique pistols and ropes hanging overhead.

Soon after dinner, I hit the road — but I left Napa with some treasure of my own: a first-edition Wilfred’s tiki coconut, now proudly displayed on my bar among the bottles of wine I brought home from my trip. It feels right there. They make sense together.

Note: This article, “Wilfred’s Lounge, Napa’s only tiki bar, is designed like a pirate ship, complete with ghosts”, written by Julie Tremaine, was originally published in SFGATE and can be found here.

Wilfred’s Lounge

Once upon a foggy day, the trade winds blew a warm streak of tropical sunshine across the San Francisco Bay and dropped it right in the heart of Downtown Napa. Like wind on a sail, the spirit of Wilfred arrived among the vines with his trusty ukulele and a little Tiki spirit.

Many moons ago, Wilfred’s big sister Flora found a Spring and cultivated some very special wines in St. Helena. Wilfred was home in Honolulu, welcoming guests to his bar where the drinks were strong, the company was charming, and there was always “just one more” story to tell.

As we celebrate our legendary Uncle Wilfred and his epic hospitality, we invite you to experience a little aloha and escape to our corner of the world. We’ve taken the best parts of Napa Valley Wine Country, gave it a shake and a dash of Hawaiian culture to bring you Wilfred’s Lounge; our family’s take on a modern Tiki bar. Swing by to try something new that embraces old traditions too. You’ll find our Island-inspired menu will take you on a journey somewhere totally unexpected.

If you listen close when happy hour strikes, you might hear a few strums of Wilfred on his uke, his little akua (spirit) humming a tropical tune.

Learn more about Wilfred’s Lounge and see the menu.

Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Trilogy, Our Flagship Red Wine

June 5, 2022

2019 Trilogy Wine

The 2019 Trilogy marks the 35th vintage of our flagship red wine, a bottling that dates back to 1984 when our family decided to make the finest wine possible by selecting fruit from the highest quality blocks from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley.

Back then it was one of Napa Valley’s first proprietary red wines, and we named it for the three Bordeaux varietals which made up the blend. Ever since, Trilogy has consistently earned more than 90 points from wine critics and is admired by fans both for its approachability and ability to age.

2019 Trilogy

The 2019 is a classic Bordeaux blend of estate-grown varietals dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with a supporting cast of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Ripe and succulent, the wine sports flavors of cassis, currant and black plum shaded with notes of vanilla crème, black licorice, cola and sweet earth. Open textured with smooth tannins and a juicy, inviting finish, this Trilogy will reward cellaring for at least 15 years.

2019 Napa Valley Vintage

The early part of the 2019 growing season was defined by heavy rainfall which replenished reservoirs and gave the soils plenty of moisture. A long, warm summer featured few extreme heat events, and the typically foggy mornings set the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. Harvest was long and relatively mild, helping to preserve freshness and finesse in the fruit with extended hang time teasing out great color, structure and soft tannins. Crop volume was average to a little less than average. In the end, it was another amazing vintage yielding exceptional fruit with bright acidity and ample flavor and texture.

Recent Press

91 points, Wine Spectator
“A plush fruit bomb, with waves of plum sauce, warmed cassis and cherry puree cruising through, laced with vanilla and ending with a creamy finish. For the hedonist crowd.” Read more.
—James Molesworth

94 points, James Suckling
“Sweetly spiced nose of cherries, spiced plums, strawberries, vanilla and lavender. Full-bodied with firm, supple tannins and fresh acidity. Juicy, fruity and delicious with pretty spice and floral undertones on the long finish.”

94 points, James the Wine Guy
“…comes across nicely and handsomely…this is an absolutely luminous, beautiful wine…” Watch the video tasting notes.

93 points, International Wine Review
“This is the 35th vintage of this highly successful, flagship wine. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Malbec, it displays a deep garnet-purple color and offers up aromas of cassis, blackberries, and dark red cherries with hints of herbs, vanilla, and baking spices. It is full-bodied and fleshy with bold flavors and excellent concentration. Velvet-like on the palate, it has round firm tannins and a long finish. This wine will have a long life.” Read more.

Grade: A & Score: 93, IntoWine
“Trilogy is one of the more famous blends made in Napa and this represents the 35th vintage! This vintage is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Malbec. Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose has black cherries, cassis, char, and slight milk chocolate and spices. Medium to full bodied. Medium plus tannins. Tingly acidity. On the palate, raspberries, cassis and some underlying char. Long finish with some chocolate notes. This is still young but should be good drinking over the next fifteen to twenty years. Nice on its own, this will work well with all but the lightest foods or seafood. Steak off the grill is a nice choice.” Read more.
—Loren Sonkin

Flagship Wines from Flora Springs
Appetite for Wine
“Opaque, inky garnet, almost black. Aromas of ripe blackberry, black cherry, plum, and toasty oak. On the palate, big, juicy blackberry and cherry, with vanilla, caramel, and hints of leather and oak. Rich, full body. Tannins are soft and smooth, with medium acidity. This is a big, bold wine that wants a grilled steak or lamb chops. The finish is smooth, with ripe blackberry jam, plum, and milk chocolate notes.” Read more.

A-, 1WineDude.com
“A showy, flamboyant and tasty Guilty Pleasure pick.” Read more.

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