With hundreds of entries along the theme of “Wine Wanderlust,” Wine Spectator recognized our work and says, “follow the Flora Springs family as they overcome great hurdles on this epic odyssey of wine and rebirth.”
Halloween is more than just a day at Flora Springs…it’s an entire season! After all, with one of the few remaining Napa Valley Ghost Wineries on our property, we’re reminded year-round that there are phantoms and spirits who walked here before us. So we celebrate in a big way, dreaming up fun costumes, planning spooky tastings and events, such as our Ghost Winery Tour, and looking for new ways to decorate The Room, The Estate and our own homes. For General Manager Nat Komes and his wife Anne there’s another reason to celebrate: their wedding anniversary falls on October 31st!
Napa Valley Halloween
Of course in Napa Valley the wine you serve on Halloween is nearly, if not just, as important as the candy bowl! It’s the adult version of the “treat,” and that’s why we put so much effort into producing special Halloween-themed wines for our Wine Club and Mailing List Members. These are not your average Halloween wines, made to drink and forget. We set the bar high in terms of quality, using some of the best fruit from our estate property, including Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Because these vineyard blocks are small, they lend themselves perfectly to these limited-edition wines.
Our Halloween labels are also a labor of love. Each year Nat Komes and his team let the creative juices flow as they seek inspiration from album cover art, comic books, children’s book illustrators and other artists to create brand new one-of-a-kind labels and packages. Skeletons, witches, pumpkins and black cats have all found their way onto these labels, in whimsical designs meant to treat, not trick. The only exception is our Ghost Winery Malbec, which always features a hand-drawn etching of our historic stone cellar on a label reminiscent of Flora Springs’ earliest releases.
We’d love to hear about your Halloween traditions and party ideas. If you have a story or tradition to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our We LOVE Halloween Pinterest board where we have collected all types of creative entertaining tips and ideas for a spooky wine tasting party.
Soliloquy is named for Flora Springs’ proprietary Sauvignon Blanc clone, a singular clone entirely unique to us.
It nearly went extinct when the vines became diseased a couple decades ago, but through various heroic measures we were able to preserve the clone in our Crossroads Vineyard. Recently I decided to re-create Soliloquy, relying on my early memory of the wine to produce what I think could be the finest white wine we’ve ever made.
It was a long process, three years of countless blending trials, but today I’m proud to say that the 2018 Soliloquy has earned its place as Flora Springs’ flagship white wine, a fitting companion to our flagship red, Trilogy. I could not be more excited to introduce this singular white wine. Watch our newest video and learn more about its fascinating history.
For both Nat and Anne Komes, art – in its many forms and varieties – plays a central role in their busy lives. “Just as you must have wine on your table, you must have art in your life,” says Anne. “It gives you more perspective and depth, it makes life more beautiful.”
The Komeses both have artistic backgrounds: Nat was an English Literature major in college and once published a book of poetry. Anne, a native of France, is the daughter of a painter and a music agent who represented Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz. She herself is a sculptor who works in clay. The couple often go to museums and galleries with their two children and enjoy collecting artistic works during their travels. They recently brought home a piece from a local artist exhibiting at the Brinton Museum near Big Horn, Wyoming where they were vacationing with their family. “It’s wonderful to have a reminder of the places we’ve been, and Nat and I love to support local talent,” says Anne.
At Flora Springs, Nat flexes his creative muscle by working with an array of artists on special wine labels, including those he develops for his annual Halloween-themed wines. He finds inspiration all around him – from album cover art and children’s books to the skateboarding culture that has fascinated him since he was a teen. “There’s art everywhere once you look for it,” says Nat, whose recent project, Wine Love Stories, (a 2012 Red Blend) features a label straight out of the romance comics genre of the 1940s and 50s.
The wine is one of the featured offerings during Arts in April at The Room in St. Helena, a month-long celebration of the arts with a special installation by Napa-based artist John Bonick. “Each year in conjunction with Arts in April we commission an artist or artists to create original artwork for display on the exterior and interior of The Room,” says Nat. “It’s is our way of bringing wine and art together, celebrating the roles they each play in enhancing the quality of our lives.”
In Europe it is not uncommon to find winemaking dynasties that go back dozens of generations. We can’t say the same for Napa Valley; after all, wine grapes weren’t even planted here until the 19th century. But we like to think that Flora Springs, now in its third generation, is a dynasty in the making. That’s why the term Grand Estates Tradition appears on the back label of each of our Single Vineyard Cabernets. These wines are produced from estate vineyards in Napa Valley that our family has farmed for decades. They represent some of the finest micro-sites in Napa Valley, blocks that are so distinct and outstanding they deserve to be bottled on their own. With less than five hundred cases produced each year, and consistently among our highest scoring wines, our Single Vineyard Cabernets are in high demand.
Regarding the 2016 vintage, Winemaker Paul Steinauer says, “An early bud break followed by warm weather and spring rains brought a rapid start to an ideal 2016 growing season, one with beautiful weather from bloom, to berry set, to veraison and harvest in our Napa Valley estate vineyards.”
Our Preferred Palates Wine Club Members have a guaranteed allocation of these very limited wines. Learn more about the benefits of membership.
“Captivating from top to bottom…The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignons are gorgeous wines endowed with striking aromatic intensity, nuance and depth…2016 is second only to 2013 among the top vintages of this decade so far.” – Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2018
Flora Springs was excited to be part of the Premiere Napa Valley 2019 wine auction, which brought in close to $3.7 million this year.
Held each February, Premiere is a who’s who of the wine world, with wineries, wholesalers and retailers coming together to celebrate Napa Valley wines. It’s a wonderful time to connect with our trade partners throughout the country, and Winemaker Paul Steinauer and National Sales Director John Schulz, who represented us at the event, were pleased to see friends and colleagues from as near as California and as far as Florida.
Our auction lot, which we dubbed IV Appellations, was a 100% 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Howell Mountain. Here’s what Paul says about the wine: “Because it was sourced from four unique single vineyards the wine imparts a great deal of complexity; melding red fruit characteristics from the valley floor in Oakville with black fruit characteristics from the other sites makes for a multi-dimensional flavor profile.”
The five-case lot brought in $10,000. Flora Springs also participated in a PNV Lot Preview event put on by the Rutherford Dust Society, which was attended by over 150 people. We poured our 2016 Rutherford Hillside Select, which will be released in April. Although it’s still young, guests commented on how approachable it is even now.
There may have been a few raindrops but they sure didn’t dampen the spirits of the folks attending our 2016 Trilogy Release Party on February 2nd!
Setting the upbeat tone were the ramp rippin’ skateboarders from OC Ramps, jumping, flipping and generally shredding to the crowd of pumped up onlookers. The lion dancers, decked out in rain-defying, bright yellow costumes, shimmied, shook and celebrated the Chinese New Year (and our new Year of the Pig Cabernet) with their traditional dance of good fortune.
Doing a little shimmying of his own was Nat Komes, Flora Springs’ third generation general manager, host extraordinaire, wearer of the Trilogy fez and mastermind behind the annual Trilogy Release Party. “One of the best parts of planning this party is deciding what special surprises we’ll offer our guests. It’s always about how can we make this event something people will remember forever…what will really set it apart?”
Nat and the extended Flora Springs family outdid themselves with stilt walkers, living statues, a cheese carver, a glass artist and a live performance by the up and coming rock and alt-country David Luning Band. The party was anchored by numerous wine stations pouring the new 2016 Trilogy and an amazing selection of Flora Springs wines – including library and current releases as well as our highly limited Flora’s Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon.
And as always, Flora Springs brought together top local restaurants to present delicious and inventive dishes, our way of sharing the celebration of our world class wine, Trilogy, with the community. We heard a lot of great comments from our guests throughout the party, but the one that’ll keep us motivated as we plan for next year’s release? “Best Trilogy Party Ever!”
See the OC Ramps team in action:
Save the date – February 1, 2020 – for the 2017 Trilogy Release Party. Learn more and mark your calendar!
Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.
The Spring Festival is a time of celebration – to welcome the new year with a smile and let fortune and happiness continue. At the same time, the Spring Festival involves somber ceremonies to wish for a good harvest.
Here at Flora Springs, for the third year now, we have chosen to celebrate Chinese New Year with a playful, strikingly etched and hand painted magnum of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
2020: Year of the Rat
The Year of the Rat promises good fortune in career and love and prosperity to those who are industrious, diligent and positive. The rat is the first of the twelve Zodiac animals, with one ancient myth proclaiming the animal was the first to arrive at the party when the order was decided. See the 2015 Year of the Rat Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum.
2019: Year of the Pig
To the Chinese, the pig symbolizes wealth as well as diligence, compassion and generosity. (Is it a coincidence that we store our pennies in ‘piggy’ banks?)The pig is the twelfth and last of the Zodiac animals, with one ancient myth proclaiming that the animal is last because it was late to the party at which the order of animals was decided. See the 2015 Year of the Pig Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum.