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. To celebrate #ChardonnayDay on May 27, 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.
Insider Tip: Flora Springs feels so strongly about the quality of their chardonnay and other white wines that the winery has been a leading proponent of the movement to introduce the #whitewineemoji.” Read the full article.
The 2018 Trilogy is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, and if you’ve been keeping track, you’ll note these are the same three varieties that have comprised Trilogy since 2013, although in different percentages. The blend is not a given; each year we start from scratch, evaluating the wine lots and determining what will make the finest wine.
Of course Trilogy is always centered around a strong core of Cabernet Sauvignon…that much we do know. Cabernet gives the wine its strongest, most concentrated fruit component, as well as its full body and fine tannin structure. Cabernet endows the wine with aging power. Malbec, on the other hand, gives the wine an opening, with rich, dark fruit that makes you sit up and take notice right away. Petit Verdot, in contrast, stretches the wine, leaving you with a long, satisfying finish. It adds color too, but it’s the lingering quality of Petit Verdot that I really love.
So you see, at least in 2018, and in the previous five vintages, Malbec and Petit Verdot provide the framework for Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s like a painting you’d find in a museum, where the gilded frame is the platform and the finishing touch on an otherwise beautiful portrait. Next year may bring a different blend, with other varieties. We never know until we start to taste the new lots. What we do know is that our mission with Trilogy, since the beginning, is to create the best wine possible from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley. In that we will never waver.
This coming weekend would have been the 34th annual Trilogy Release Party—which is the highlight of my year. I’m going to miss the festivities…my favorite food pairings, live music, dancing, the wine of course, but mostly I will miss seeing all of our faithful Trilogy Release Party guests. I extend my deepest apologies to the Trilogy Fez gang. Please know that I, along with my mom and dad, Anne and the rest of our team will raise a glass to you, toasting the friendships we’ve made over the years.
I invite you to look back at past parties—enjoy this video compilation of some of our favorite moments.
A Look Ahead
Although we cannot host the big party this year, we will still be releasing the 2018 Trilogy on February 6 and you can be the first to taste the new vintage. We also look ahead to continuing the legacy of Trilogy, the reviews for the 2018 vintage are already rolling in.
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck “…a seamless, elegant texture that just glides across the palate. Giving up lots of red and black currants, flowery incense, medium to full-bodied richness, no hard edges, and a juicy, seamless, impossible to resist personality, it’s ideal for drinking over the coming 10-12 years.”
92 points, James Suckling “Rich aromas of blackcurrant jam, cloves, dried herbs and orange peel on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with round, sleek tannins. Spiced and juicy with lifting freshness on the finish.”
Save the Date: February 5, 2022
Mark your calendar now for the 2019 Trilogy Release Party. We look forward to delighting you with all new experiences next year. Stay tuned!
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. With each holiday release, the etched art changes and provides a unique Napa Valley wine to give or collect for yourself.
Our 2017 Be Mine Red Blend celebrates the most romantic holiday of all, Valentine’s Day, and is the perfect accompaniment to your date night candlelit dinner for two.
Or, delight your Galentine, mom, auntie, or sister with our playful Wine Love Stories.
It was the early 1990s and Flora Springs had been in business for just over ten years when I decided we needed to have a tasting room on Highway 29.
There wasn’t quite as much tourism in Napa Valley as there is now, and I wanted a place right on the highway where people could easily visit us. I bought a building – an old HVAC shop – just south of the old Dean & DeLuca gourmet grocery (now Gary’s Wine & Marketplace) in St. Helena. I cleaned it up, installed a circular bar, hired an artist to paint some wall murals, and opened up for tastings.
But business was slow. I kept hearing folks say they hadn’t “noticed” the tasting room, even people who stopped at Dean & DeLuca. I decided to do something about it. My wife, Carrie, and I had recently visited Barcelona and seen many of the buildings designed by renowned architect, Antoni Gaudí. I loved the flow and imagination of his structures, the fanciful nature of his designs.
You can guess what happened next.
When I returned to St. Helena I consulted with a local architect, and together we designed a new Tasting Room that echoes, in Gaudí-like fashion, the look and feel of a wine cave set into a mountainside. We used bent plywood to give the structure its curvature and painted the outside to represent geologic striations in the earth.
Inside we created separate tasting areas made to feel like private rooms in a wine cave, and installed a curved tasting bar with a modern bistro vibe. The rooftop, which has magnificent views of mountains and vineyards to the west, feels like a comfortable living room, a place where people can relax and enjoy a glass of wine.
Wine Tasting in Saint Helena
Thanks to my son Nat, our Tasting Room has gotten some upgrades recently, and I’m excited about the improvements. I always wanted it to be a place where people could indulge their sense of sight as well as taste and smell. Most of all, I want the Tasting Room to inspire curiosity and delight, to be the place where people come to learn more about the legacy of Flora Springs.
We have missed you and can’t wait to welcome you back to our Tasting Room in Napa Valley for wine tasting while enjoying views of flourishing vineyards and the western hillsides. We are now accepting reservations starting February 1.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is China’s most important traditional festival. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day. The Chinese New Year can begin anytime between late January and mid-February. In 2021, Chinese New Year begins February 12th.
Year of the Ox
2021 is the Year of the Ox, the second of the twelve Zodiac animals. The ox symbolizes quiet strength, and a person born during the Year of the Ox is said to be self-confident, balanced and resilient.
Flora Springs celebrates this Zodiac sign with an etched and hand painted magnum featuring the playful resilience of this joyful beast of burden and the beauty symbolized by bamboo. Twice the size of a standard wine bottle at 1.5 liters, magnums are ideal for entertaining, for extended aging – and also make stunning gifts. Only 66 bottles were produced, with a limit of six bottles per person.
We shipped a record amount of wine to Wine Club Members and customers; thank you for your support!
We completed our 42nd harvest.
We supported Napa Valley wildfire relief efforts with a Halloween Dinner & Wine event and other initiatives, and thanks to you, donated over $5,500 to the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Fire Disaster Relief Fund.
Maximilian Riedel, 11th generation glassmaker at the world-renowned Riedel Wine Glass Company, shared his experience of opening and tasting our 1991 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with his 88,000 Instagram followers: “..what a joy. The wine has been in my cellar for a very long time…look at that color, fun. Cheers!”
As another year comes to a close, we want to take a moment and thank you for letting us be a part of your lives. We are fortunate and grateful that you choose Flora Springs to accompany your meals, toasts, celebrations and special occasions. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2021!