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.
Visit Napa Valley, a leading Napa Valley travel website, recently released their list of top tasting rooms in the Napa Valley – and we are pleased to announce that The Room was included.
“The valley is vast with wineries that are spread out over the 30-mile length of the valley, so deciding which wineries to visit and how to get there can be a bit of a challenge…These are some of our favorite.”
Flora Springs – The Room “is a friendly, relaxed tasting room with limited production, winery-only wine available for sampling. The space features a picnic area and rooftop lounge.” Read more.
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.
Following the 6.0 earthquake in the Napa area August 24th, the Flora Springs family wanted to help our Napa Valley community.
Upon learning that The Napa Food Bank was low on food, we opened up The Room as a designated Upvalley drop-off location. To date, we’ve collected many grocery bags of food donations and raised over $1000. “A lot of people came in because they said they saw either in print or on social media that we were donating tasting fees,” says Tasting Room Manager Kristin Johnstone. “We will remain a drop-off location as long as needed.”
We also especially wanted to reach out to our Wine Club members, some who suffered significant damage to their homes. In this video – footage from ABC 7 News out of San Francisco – our own Tom Shoar explains how, with a small token of support and appreciation, we were able to help our most loyal customers and fans to get back on the road to recovery.
Tom says, “I think it was a very nice break for some people to know someone was thinking of them.” (Footage featuring Flora Springs begins at 1:50.)
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.
“This St. Helena winery has long had a fondness for the grape, down to maintaining this particular vineyard with a mix of its own unique clone and heady musqué. Again, the mix of steel, barrel and concrete pays off: It’s ripe and fragrant, full of lily and grapefruit, plus slightly sweet tangerine and peach fruit.” – Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle, July 2013
We’re very excited to be one of the “examples of Napans who are taking the grape seriously….in a way that reflects ripe, quality fruit and the subtle innovations in the cellar that show the beauty of that fruit.” You can learn more about our 2012 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc here. The original article can be found here.
The award criteria are: a strong commitment to sustainable practices; recognized leadership in agricultural preservation; dedicated community focus, contributions to the Napa Valley community; and someone who actively promotes Napa’s reputation for the highest quality vineyards.
In 1978, Pat Garvey traded his Master’s Degree in Psychology and Counseling for a tractor – and the opportunity to launch a world-class Napa Valley winery with his wife, Julie Garvey, and his brother-in-law John Komes. While Flora Springs started as a fledgling family business nearly three decades ago, today the Komes and Garvey families own and manage more vineyard acres – 600 in all – than most family-owned and managed vineyard holders in the Napa Valley.
As Vineyard Director for all of Flora Springs’ vineyards since its inception, Pat has not only taken the responsibility to remain an innovator with meticulous farming practices to create world-class wines; he has done so with the overarching premise of stewardship and family values: all of Flora Springs’ vineyards are 100% sustainable.
Under Garvey’s watch, Flora Springs has been on the cutting edge of new vineyard practices, from trellising systems to canopy management, to clone selection and hand-harvesting grapes at night. In addition, Pat received organic certification in 2008 from the California Certified Organic Farmers for 120 acres of Flora Springs’ vineyards. Another 240 acres were certified in 2010.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pat was instrumental in establishing the Oakville and Rutherford appellations. Today, grapes grown in the 10 distinct Napa Valley vineyards owned by the Flora Springs family are in high demand. “With 10 different vineyards in six appellations, the ability to develop character in the grapes through careful rootstock selection, clones and vineyard practices, and a dedicated, consistent staff over the past several years, our grapes receive the kind of attention and consistency that can’t be duplicated,” he adds.
NVG President David Beckstoffer recognized the important place Pat holds in the Napa Valley history book, noting “Pat is a tremendously well-respected grapegrower and a model citizen in our community. His contributions to the Napa Valley are numerous and although he would be the last to say it, he is highly deserving of this special award”.
Wife Julie describes Pat as “alive, optimistic, fun-loving, compassionate, generous, interested, and interesting”. She also mentioned that she is “so proud that Pat is receiving this accolade…and that he never seeks credit, but always deserves it.”