“This week we began our harvest with Oakville sauvignon blanc. We are slightly ahead of where we were last year at this time and about 10 days ahead of average, if there is such a thing in farming. Other varieties are starting to sweeten up as well. Sauvignon blanc is typically the first still wine variety off the vine, but I have heard reports of some Oakville ranches picking their earliest merlot this week as well.”
“Grapes have turned from a fluorescent green to yellow/gold – Indicating that harvest is just around the corner – Flavors are terrific – With this nice mid 80’s temperature, we should develop more flavor as well as lower the acid. These will be the first grapes we pick.”
“Many people may be surprised to realize that Pinot Grigio actually looks more like a red grape than a white grape – It’s actually more brown in color. These grapes are also in Oakville, and will be harvested just after the Sauvignon Blanc.”
“Some of our southern vineyards in the Carneros region of Napa are more prone to bird damage – You will see here, some netting that protects the fruit zone from the birds – We like our grapes, and I guess the birds do as well. While this protects the fruit, it requires much more effort to conduct work in the vineyard. Each time work needs to be conducted –Whether it be leafing, thinning fruit etc….The netting must be raised throughout the vineyard to access the fruit zone.”
“Oakville sauvignon blanc is getting sweeter by the day. Winemaker Paul Steinhauer…plans on harvesting some Oakville SB this month, if not this week. We also have a block of what might be the only pinot grigio in Oakville and it is also very near to ready. The pleasantly warm weather continues to be ideal for grape ripening. Things are shaping up nicely for a great harvest season.”
“Oakville is currently pretty quiet, although the grapes are ripening at a furious pace, or at least that’s how it feels. Oakville sauvignon blanc will be picked first, and it should be early. We could start picking the week of Aug. 14, as early as we ever have, if not earlier. Overall, yields look good, for all varieties: not high nor low. Vines naturally set just about the right amount of fruit. Quality looks great.”
The Komes and Garvey families of Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards came to the wine business as farmers first. Our love of the land influences everything we do.
From the beginning, we have farmed our vineyards using sustainable practices. Not only do these practices make for good neighbors, healthy vineyard workers, and an ecologically-sound place to live and work, they also make for what we think are some pretty outstanding grapes.
On Earth Day this April 22, we hope you’ll celebrate with sustainably grown and produced wines from Flora Springs – and to share the story of Flora Springs and sustainability with your friends and loved ones.
From going solar (our panels cover all of the energy needed for our red wine production) to water conservation efforts, learn more about how we work with nature and farm responsibly.
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.”