Q & A with Winemaker Paul Steinauer: 2012 Trilogy

January 7, 2015

The creation of Trilogy goes back to 1984 when our family set out to make the best wine possible by selecting the highest quality lots from our estate vineyards. More than 30 years later, we are proud to present the 2012 Trilogy, a wine Robert Parker calls one of our “most iconic red wines.”

Here our winemaker, Paul Steinhauer, tells us what goes into blending our flagship wine.

Q&A with Winemaker Paul Steinauer 2012 Trilogy

Q: Do you know ahead of time which vineyard lots will make it into Trilogy?
Paul: Having worked with these vineyards for over three decades we definitely have a sense which lots will make the cut. Over time Trilogy has evolved into a true “winery estate” wine, and what’s interesting is that our estate actually spans two appellations, Rutherford and St. Helena. The majority of the Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the Malbec, Petite Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc come from vineyards that surround the winery. We also use grapes from our Crossroads Vineyard in Oakville, as well as our Windfall Vineyard in the southern part of Rutherford.

Q: When do you compose the Trilogy blend?
Paul: We begin in the spring after the harvest year as we start to get a sense of how the wines are evolving. We make two blends of each variety: two Cabernet Sauvignons, two Merlots, two Malbecs, etc. These blends might be assembled from 30 or more wine lots. At this point, even though we’re creating individual varietal blends, we’re envisioning how each varietal will react with the other varietals down the road.

The next stage is approximately 16 months later when we determine the final varietal makeup. Not all of our original components will be used. For instance, in some vintages Cabernet Franc brings something to the table, in other vintages it doesn’t. We know the foundation of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, and we integrate the other varietals to create a wine that has great aromatics, is fruit forward and rich on the palate, and finishes with a soft silkiness. If the wine has these attributes, drinks well on its own and can accompany a variety of foods, then we’ve achieved our goal.

Q: Who is involved in the blending process?
Paul: In addition to the winemaking team the Komes and Garvey family is very much a part of the blending decision. We also often invite a wine industry person outside of Flora Springs to join for some of the tastings. It’s always nice to get another perspective from an industry professional, whether a winemaker or perhaps a sommelier. It makes for healthy discussions!

Q: How does the 2012 Trilogy compare to past vintages?
Paul: Over the past three decades, there have been some legendary vintages of Trilogy. However, the 2012 vintage may prove to be the best of all. The planets aligned at harvest to create the absolute ideal growing conditions. With these perfectly ripe grapes, we were able to craft a wine that possesses all the traits we strive for – inviting aromatics, silky, rich fruit across the palate, and a finish that begs for another sip.

In the News: Halloween at Flora Springs

October 9, 2014

Halloween Flora Springs The Room 2014 San Jose Mercury News Article

Note: The following article, excerpted below, was published in the San Jose Mercury News on October 6, 2014 and can be found here.

8 great Halloween winery adventures

Vines gnarled like a witch’s back. Cobblestoned barrel rooms splattered with red stains. Labs brimming with beakers and gurgling mystery brews.

Face it — wineries were made for Halloween. This month, vintners from Sonoma to the Santa Cruz Mountains are unlatching their cellar doors to host costume parties, pagan balls, horror movie screenings, pumpkin patches and even a carnival for kids.

Flora Springs’ The Room Halloween Harvest Picnic & Movie Night

The bash: October’s movie night will feature attendees’ favorite scary movie — check the winery’s Facebook pagefor the final vote — screened in the rooftop lounge, plus a classic candy and popcorn bar. Want to make a night out of it? Begin with live music in the vineyard courtyard along with a picnic (bring your own or order via the winery two days in advance).

See our Events page for more information on the Movie Night Series (runs August – October every year) and all our events. For more information on visiting The Room, click here.

Check out our Halloween Pinterest board for spooktacular entertaining and decorating ideas.

Wine of the Week: 2012 Ghost Winery Cabernet Franc

October 7, 2014

2012 Ghost Cabernet Franc Wine of the Week Wes Freed


Note: The following article, written by St. Helena Star tasting panel writer Catherine Bugue, was published in the St. Helena Star on October 6, 2014 and can be found here.

The name Wes sends chills up my spine; no offense to the designer, Wes Freed, who created the eerily fun label on Flora Springs’ Halloween-inspired wine.

The designer shares first names with the man who took horror to new heights in films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Fifteen years later, I still cringe when I hear just the name of a Wes Craven film.

Luckily, this Ghost Winery label can dominate dinner conversation on Halloween, not white masks. The wine ($50) is rich and fruity, more syrah-like than characteristic cabernet franc; but delicious – and good fun.

Flora Springs is one of the valley’s treasured ghost wineries: first built in the late 1800s, abandoned, and then gloriously resurrected.

You can see this Halloween label on FloraSprings.com, or by visiting the winery. If your name is Nancy, however, we highly suggest you don’t run through the hallways…

Learn more about the 2012 Ghost Winery Cabernet Franc.

Harvest 2014 Update #13

September 25, 2014

“Harvest continues at a furious pace. We are trying to pick all of our more thin-skinned varieties like chardonnay and malbec before more rain falls on them. That said, light showers like what we had last week (and maybe this week too) don’t cause much trouble. Miner Family Winery is starting to pick cabernet sauvignon in Oakville this week. Miner’s winemaker, Stacy Vogel, says that this week is their busiest yet, probably the case in much of Oakville.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

Harvest 2014 Update #11

September 16, 2014

“Harvest is in full swing up and down the valley. This week we are picking chardonnay and pinot grigio in our Oakville vineyard. This is probably the only pinot grigio/gris in Oakville. Red varieties are also getting picked in Oakville. Natalie Jure Buckland from Opus One says they are harvesting both merlot and cabernet sauvignon this week. However, the biggest weeks for Oakville cabernet sauvignon are yet to come.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

Harvest 2014 Update #10

September 10, 2014

“A return to mild weather after last week’s heat spike has given wineries a chance to harvest mature grapes before overly ripe sugar levels get out of hand. In Oakville, we are harvesting chardonnay and merlot while cabs and other red varieties continue to mature. Most blocks of fruit are coming in one or two weeks ahead of normal schedule, setting up a very busy time in the next few weeks.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

Harvest 2014 Update #8

September 3, 2014

“This week most wineries, Flora Springs included, are back in a more normal harvest mode, although many farther down valley have had to get creative to compensate for damaged barrels and equipment. Our thoughts are with you! In Oakville we will finish up our sauvignon blanc harvest this week, except for a little bit we’re saving for a late-harvest wine. Our current heat spike means ripening should get a little boost. Harvest for the other early varieties like merlot, chardonnay and pinot grigio is just around the corner.”

— Molly Hodgins, Flora Springs Viticulturist

Flora Earthquake Relief Efforts in the News

September 2, 2014

Many wineries provided relief efforts after the Napa Earthquake. Following the 6.0 earthquake in the Napa area August 24th, the Flora Springs family wanted to help our Napa Valley community.

Upon learning that The Napa Food Bank was low on food, we opened up The Room as a designated Upvalley drop-off location. We collected many grocery bags of food donations and raised over $1000. “A lot of people came in because they said they saw either in print or on social media that we were donating tasting fees,” says Tasting Room Manager Kristin Johnstone. “We will remain a drop-off location as long as needed.”

We also especially wanted to reach out to our Wine Club members, some who suffered significant damage to their homes. In this video – footage from ABC 7 News out of San Francisco – our own Tom Shoar explains. With a small token of support and appreciation, we were able to help our most loyal customers and fans to get back on the road to recovery.

Tom says, “I think it was a very nice break for some people to know someone was thinking of them.” (Footage featuring Flora Springs begins at 1:50.) Leave a comment if you love Tom!