“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.
We have always loved the exotic character of late harvest white wines, and in 2012 we set aside a small quantity of Chardonnay from our Lavender Hill Vineyard in Carneros to make just one barrel of this rich and decadent dessert wine. Our Star Star Chardonnay is absolutely dripping with aromas of honey, bright orange blossom, rich almond and baked caramel apples. Full, luxurious flavors of apricot, orange liqueur, marzipan and apple tatin coat the mouth and linger long into the finish. With its unique warmth and richness, this wine is a perfect accompaniment to fruit tarts and soft cheeses, or it can be served as a dessert unto itself.
Our Star Star Late Harvest Chardonnay was made in the Italian style of “appassimento” (meaning to dry and shrivel), just as the famous Amarone (Veneto) and Sfursat (Lombardia) wines are made each year. The making of appassimento-style wine dates back over 3500 years to the ancient Romans, who regarded it as an elixir of the gods. Just one bottle of this wine requires over two pounds of fresh grapes.
The grapes were harvested on October 31st at 24.7 degrees Brix. Handled individually to avoid breakage or crushing, each cluster was hung up (strung by hand onto long pieces of string) or set out to dry on large burlap sacks, allowing plenty of air flow. After five weeks of drying the weight of the clusters was reduced by roughly 30% and the Brix level was elevated to 33.6 degrees. The greater concentration of sugar was accompanied by a distinct change in flavors and aromatics. After careful pressing, the wine was aged in one neutral French oak barrel for 13 months.
Limited availability – only one barrel produced. Shop now. >
The photos below were taken by the winemaking team at the beginning of the five week drying process.
Note: The following article, written by St. Helena Star tasting panel writer Catherine Seda Bugue, was published here in the St. Helena Star on October 10, 2013.
In college, some friends and I resolved ourselves to go trick or treating. Amongst the shorter set, consisting of a few fairy princesses and Draculas, we trumped up the long walkways of the mansions in our college’s ritzy New York suburb. Many a good neighbor greeted us with grins but several also pulled out wine glasses and offered a sip of this or a shot of that. Halloween treats had gone up a notch.
To commemorate their century-old ghost winery, Flora Springs has once again released a special Halloween wine, this time petit verdot. The art on the label by Wes Freed is worth it all (and $20 posters are for sale on the website), but the wine ($55), from fruit on Atlas Peak, will be appreciated by those wanting rich plummy flavors with lots of oak-influenced sweet spice flavors like vanilla and cinnamon.
To get into the ghoulish mood, you can witness the mad scientist (aka GM Nat Komes) at work in the Flora Springs cellar in their newest video on florasprings.com.
Learn more about our 2011 Ghost Winery Petite Verdot here. You can also visit our YouTube channel to watch “It’s Alive!” starring Flora Springs General Manager and Ghost Winery Mastermind Nat Komes.