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.
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.”
“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.
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.
Flora Springs has always been committed to creating and sharing exciting white wine. After all, it was our gold-medal winning Chardonnay that put Flora Springs on the map back in 1978. We are delighted to introduce our debut release of Vermentino, a wine we made specifically for wine club members. This wine is a rare find – it’s sourced from a tiny, 2-acre block of organically farmed Vermentino located in Rutherford.
We believe this is the only Vermentino planted in Napa Valley, making this one of just two Vermentino wines produced here. As soon as it was harvested we knew it was going to be compelling. Gentle handling of the grapes and lightly oaking the wine in seasoned French barrels yielded a bottling as irresistible as that early award-winning Chardonnay.
Vermentino is often compared to Sauvignon Blanc in body and taste. Our 2022 Vermentino is a dry, minerally white with flavors of grapefruit, citrus, honey, grated ginger and a hint of wet stone. Finely knit with zesty acidity, the wine is vibrant on the palate and carries a long, mouthwatering finish.
Pop this open for wine-curious friends eager to try something new from Napa Valley, and if they’ve been to Italy and experienced the Vermentino varietal there, so much the better!
Be the first to taste this new wine. Only 200 cases were made, we anticipate a high demand and expect it to be snapped up swiftly — shop now.
Vermentino is a new varietal for Flora Springs, but it is actually an ancient white wine grape, found primarily in the northeastern region of Italy, from Liguria down the coast to Tuscany — and, as we recently discovered, in that tiny gem of a vineyard in Rutherford, Napa Valley.
Vermentino wines are typically dry, crisp, and refreshing, with notes of citrus, green apple, and tropical fruit. They are often enjoyed as a young wine, but some can also benefit from aging. Vermentino is a versatile grape that can be used to produce a variety of wine styles, including still, sparkling, and dessert wines. It is also often used in blends with other white grape varieties to add freshness and acidity to the wine.
Vermentino is a hidden gem of the wine world, with its unique combination of freshness, complexity, and elegance that make it a standout among white wines.
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Food & Wine and can be found here.
“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.
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.
Richard Tiedemann is a fifth-generation Napa Valley native whose family has been growing grapes here since the late 1880s.
Richard spent the better part of the 1990s as a crab and salmon fisherman in Alaska, returning to Napa Valley in 2000 to work in the Flora Springs tasting room. His love and knowledge of wine, his ability to relate to people and his passion for sharing the story of the Komes-Garvey family soon earned him promotions and a series of sales roles, with responsibility at various times for California, the northeast, the Midwest and western regions. Now, as Director of Winery Relations, Richard travels extensively throughout the U.S. as an ambassador for Flora Springs, hosting lively, interactive wine dinners and building lasting relationships with customers and fans.
“Last April I had the opportunity to do something I’d dreamed about for a long time: host a Flora Springs cruise for Wine Club Members in the Mediterranean. I was actually a stand-in for John and Carrie Komes, who at the last minute weren’t able to make the trip. Knowing that a big reason members sign up for a Flora Springs cruise is to spend time with the Komes, I brought my “A” game, determined to make the voyage just as entertaining and enlightening.
On one of our first days, I staged a blind tasting of Bordeaux varietals – Malbec,Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. – to see if folks were able to identify the wines. Only three people got every wine right, but we all had a blast.
Our days were spent exploring awe-inspiring sites in Spain, the Canary Islands and Morocco. In the evenings we met at the Voyager Lounge where Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot flowed freely. And each night I hosted a small group of Wine Club Members for dinner at one of the ship’s amazing four-star (in my opinion) restaurants.
I loved spending time with these members, many of whom have long relationships with the Komes family and Flora Springs. But the best part might have been sharing photos and tales of my journey with John and Carrie when I got back. I’d sent them a post card from each port of call, which I know they appreciated. But not half as much as I appreciate them for giving me the opportunity to take the cruise of a lifetime.”
We look forward to welcoming you in Napa Valley for wine tasting while enjoying views of flourishing vineyards and the western hillsides. Named “Best Hidden Gem Winery” in Napa Valley Life Magazine’s 2020 Best of Napa Valley Awards Readers Choice & 2022 Best of Napa Valley Awards Readers Choice, we are open seven days a week by appointment. Visit Flora Springs Tasting Room.
As they say, like father like son, and Nat Komes loves to explore the world just as much as his dad, John. This October, sail away with Nat and Anne Komes and cruise the Mediterranean from Athens to Jerusalem aboard the Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ elegantly refreshed Seven Seas Voyager. Learn more.
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in VinePair and can be found here.
“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.
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.
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in Robb Report and can be found here.
“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.
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.
Back in the days when John Komes was selling our first Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, he came up with idea of holding winemaker dinners pairing each Cabernet with a different cut of premium beef. He knew what many wine enthusiasts knew intuitively: there’s simply something sublime about enjoying a juicy bite of steak with a sip of rich, ripe, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. But he understood the science behind that magical pairing.
“The tannins in red wine are essentially attracted to fat and protein. When you bite into a steak, the tannins in the wine ‘bind’ with the fat and protein in the beef, so that the wine feels softer and less astringent,” says John.
Over time, John experimented with different Cabernet Sauvignon and beef combinations until he came up with the ideal pairing for each Flora Springs offering. For the wine in the Preferred Palates Wine Club February 2023 shipment, our 2020 Wild Boar Cabernet Sauvignon, John recommends a tri-tip steak. Tri-tip, cut from the bottom sirloin, has been popular in California for decades, but has also become available in other parts of the country where it is sometimes called triangle steak, Santa Maria steak or California’s Cut.
“Tri-tip has great marbling which gives it a really good beefy flavor and a supple texture, as long as you don’t overcook it,” he says. “Plus, it has the added bonus of being more economical than many other cuts of beef.”
Tri-tip Marinade for Grilling
Tri-tip is made for grilling, and John likes to marinate this boneless steak for a few hours in the refrigerator before cooking. His preferred marinade (for a two to three-pound steak):
½ cup of red wine
¼ cup of olive oil
3 large garlic gloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Turn several times while marinating. Before grilling, remove steak from marinade. Cook to desired doneness (@122°F for medium rare), let sit for at least five minutes and slice. John likes to serve tri-tip when Nat and his family visit, as the cut easily feeds a small group. He recommends accompanying the meal with small, roasted red potatoes, grilled veggies, a nice arugula salad, and a bottle of his Wild Boar Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wild boars are a fixture in Napa Valley, and as vineyard owners we’ve had our share of run-ins with the creature, which is how our Wild Boar Single Vineyard Cabernet got its name. Boars love to munch on ripe wine grapes, and when we get close to harvest we try to keep them to the natural habitats that surround our vineyards. But if one or two have a meal on us, we’re okay with it. As farmers who depend on Mother Nature, sometimes we need to live and let live. Sourced from our estate vineyard in the Rutherford AVA, our 2020 Wild Boar offers opulent aromatics of red and black raspberry and boysenberry that melt into rich flavors of cassis, black plum and black currant jam on the palate. The fruit is joined by notes of sweet vanilla bean, coconut and toasty oak which mingle with notes of lavender, espresso and a touch of licorice. With well-integrated oak and youthful tannins, the 2020 Wild Boar is a balanced, well-structured Cabernet that will reward further cellaring. Learn more about this wine.
Our etched and hand-painted bottles are a cherished tradition at Flora Springs, a way for us to commemorate special holidays with festive, one-of-a-kind bottlings. Over the years, the popularity of these offerings has grown. With each holiday release, the etched artful label provides a unique Napa Valley wine to give or collect for yourself.
2017 Be Mine Blend
Our 2017 Be Mine Red Blend celebrates the most romantic holiday of all, St. Valentine’s Day. Combining Bordeaux varietals from our estate vineyards in St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville, the wine warms the heart with rich, mouth filling flavors of blackberries, juicy plums and ripe blueberries, graham cracker and a whiff of cocoa powder. Notes of violets, vanilla crème and a hint of fresh rain round out the palate. Though plush and full-bodied, this classic Napa Valley blend has a pleasing streak of acidity and sleek, elegant tannins that provide balance and length. The wine would make a sweet gift or accompaniment to a candlelit dinner for two. Only 30 cases made, limit two bottles.
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.
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.
Our wine experts are standing by to assist with all your shopping needs – including unique gift ideas, custom gift cards, special delivery requirements, and large corporate or group orders. Simply make a note during checkout, or contact us at email@example.com or (800) 913-1118. Shop now.