Flora Springs Winemaker Loves His Sauvignon Blanc

August 6, 2013

Note: Flora Springs Winemaker Paul Steinauer was interviwed by The Press Democrat. The following article was published here on August 6, 2013.

When Paul Steinauer was young, he had a thimble full of wine and said, “dood wine (good wine).”

“I was destined to be a winemaker,” he said.

Steinauer is the winemaker behind our wine-of-the-week winner — the Flora Springs, 2012 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc at $25.

It’s a sassy sauvignon blanc with zesty aromas and flavors. It’s complex, with notes of honeysuckle, pear and lime, and it has a crisp finish.

Steinauer has a good pulse on sauvignon blanc.

“It’s my favorite white wine to drink, so I drink a lot of sauvignon blancs in the course of a year from all over the world,” he said.

Steinauer said the most challenging part of making sauvignon blanc is deciding when to harvest the fruit.

The goal is to “strive for physiological ripeness, yet retain enough natural acidity to carry it through,” he said.

What the uninitiated don’t know about sauvignon blanc is how versatile the wine is, Steinauer said.

“It’s equally as enjoyable to consume by itself, but friendly enough to pair with a plethora of dishes from a citrus salad to your favorite seafood dish,” he said.

This marks Steinauer’s 23rd year at Flora Springs in St. Helena, and before that he worked at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, also in St. Helena.

What most people may not know about Steinauer is that he’s a frequent flyer.

“I have traveled to over 40 countries on all 7 continents,” he said.

What makes him a good winemaker, Steinauer said, is that he’s never lost his passion for the art of wine.

As he puts it, “I have never awakened on Monday morning and not wanted to go to work.”

Wine of the Week: Scouting for the tastiest sauvignon blancs

Wine writer Peg Melnik had a blind tasting this week of sauvignon blancs, from fruit-forward to tangy.

Our winner is the Flora Springs, 2012 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc, 14.2 percent alcohol, at $25.

A sassy sauvignon blanc with zesty aromas and flavors. Notes of lemongrass, lime and pear, with a crisp finish. Tangy.

You can learn more about our 2012 Sauvignon Blanc here.

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2012 Sauvignon Blanc Named One of Napa’s Best

July 16, 2013

“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.

2012 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc San Francisco Article One of Napa's best

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Pat Garvey Named Napa Valley Grower of the Year

April 23, 2012

Flora Springs Winery and the Komes and Garvey families are pleased to announce that the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) has selected Flora Springs Vineyard Director & Proprietor Pat Garvey as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year award.

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.

Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) selected Flora Springs Vineyard Director & Proprietor Pat Garvey 2012 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year award. Harvest 1981.
Pat Garvey (in blue) – Chardonnay Harvest at Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, 1981

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.

Pat Garvey Flora Springs Vineyard Director & Proprietor 2012 Recipient of Napa Valley Growers award Grower of the Year
Pat Garvey – Flora Springs Vineyard Director & Proprietor, 2012

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.”

The entire 2012 Grower of the Year award announcement can be viewed on the Napa Valley Grapegrowers website and on the Wine Business Monthy website.

Meet Pat Garvey and son Sean Garvey, Flora Springs Vineyard Manager, and learn more about the focus on organic farming and family succession plans in the webisode below, created as part of Flora’s 100th birthday celebration.

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