The label is a reproduction of a print titled “Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth,” created by the artist Richard Cosway in 1807. Nat Komes came across the illustration in a book given to his grandmother, Flora Komes, many years ago. “I immediately looked up the origin of this image, which captures my grandmother’s spirit so completely,” says Nat. Moved by this timeless image and Flora’s oft heard saying, “Love the land and it will love you back,” Nat decided to use this illustration on the wine that celebrates his family’s 40 years of farming the land.
An excellent vintage in 2018 yielded a big, concentrated wine with forward flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and crème de cassis that coat the mouth in luscious blue/black fruit. Hints of coffee, dense dark chocolate and sandalwood emerge in this layered and complex Cabernet, and though muscular and powerful, the wine’s silky-smooth tannins keep it approachable even in its youth. Still, this wine will reward aging for the next 20 years and should be decanted if opened within the next five. This highly collectible wine is like no other, the last Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to be sourced from Rennie Vineyard on our former St. Helena wine estate.
The 2018 Napa Valley Harvest
2018 brought a long, steady and near-ideal growing season to Napa Valley. Bud break began in late February/early March followed by an extended flowering period in May/June that yielded uniform grape clusters. The summer continued with typical warm temperatures but no significant heat spikes. Harvest was later than in recent years, accompanied by mild weather through September and October that allowed grapes to be picked at optimum ripeness and flavor. Napa winemakers agreed that 2018 was one of the least eventful and finest growing seasons they’d witnessed, yielding wines of intensity, concentration and balance.
Your gifts and wine shipments are important to us. You may have heard that shipping is expected to take longer this year. Order deadlines start today, December 9. See our Holiday Shipping Guide for details.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 913-1118. See our 2021 Holiday Guide or shop now.
Four decades ago we were lucky enough to celebrate our first harvest alongside our parents Flora and Jerry Komes. As we mark our 40th harvest with the release of our 2018 red wines, we thank you for being part of our journey through the years. We are deeply grateful for your continued support of our small, family-owned winery. Happy Thanksgiving!
Since 2004, our etched and hand-painted Holiday Wines have been one of our most treasured holiday traditions. Created especially for our wine club members, these limited edition 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.
A Labor of Love: One-of-a-Kind Holiday Designs
Meticulously etched and painted by hand, with capsules and back labels applied one by one, Flora Springs’ Holiday Bottles are a labor of love from start to finish. 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 holiday illustrations this year were inspired by Flora Springs’ matriarch and muse, Flora Komes, whose love for all living things, both great and small, was legendary.
For millennia, the dove has been a universal symbol of hope, purity, gentleness and devotion across many cultures. It also represents the renewal of life, which is why our family chose the dove as a particularly meaningful illustration for our Holiday Bottles in 2021. Framed in seasonal holly and carrying an ornament gift, our dove welcomes the season of love with outstretched wings. See design.
Foxes are known to be clever, and a single fox crossing one’s path is said to bring good luck. Sitting in a bed of holly wrapped in his luxuriant, white-tipped tail, our Festive Fox is back on our Holiday Bottles for the second year in a row due to his popularity and our love for the design. No wonder, since the hand-painted gold of his fabulous fur coat glimmers more brightly on the “real-life” bottle than can be captured in a photo. See design.
As farmers we are always aware of the relationship between the earth and our sun and the solstices that mark the seasonal transitions. Attired in a golden crown and necklace, our Solstice Hare celebrates these cosmic occurrences from his perch on our Holiday Bottles. We like to imagine him watching over our dormant vineyards as the Winter Solstice approaches on December 21st. See design.
Polar bears are one of nature’s most majestic creatures, symbols of strength and endurance, and as a spirit animal, a signifier of transcendence. Representing this regal creature on our Holiday Bottles was a challenge because of his size and our desire to include as much detail as possible. Gazing at us as he makes his way through a snow shower, our polar bear carries a bright red bagful of gifts to ensure a merry and bright holiday for family and friends. See design.
The Komes and Garvey’s have always been farmers first, and over 40 years the family has acquired 500 acres throughout Napa Valley, 300 of which are planted to vineyards. As farmers we are always aware of the relationship between the earth and our sun and the solstices that mark the seasonal transitions.
What is the Winter Solstice?
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, winter solstice is “the astronomical moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, we have our shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of daylight.” The solstice marks the official start of winter.
When is the Winter Solstice?
The winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:59 a.m. Eastern time.
What Does “Solstice” Mean?
The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still). During the solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator appears to stand still.
Winter Solstice Traditions Around the World
The shortest day and longest night of the year inspire mystical celebrations, both old and new, in anticipation of the sun’s return. According to Wikipedia, “The solstice may have been a special moment of the annual cycle for some cultures even during Neolithic times. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this.”
The start of winter and the winter solstice are celebrated in cultures and religions around the world with various traditions, holidays, and festivals. Today, the winter solstice is a reminder to honor our connection to the natural world. Learn more about holidays and traditions around the December solstice including but not limited to Christmas, Feast of Juul, Saturnalia in Ancient Rome, Gody in Poland, and Chaomos in northwestern Pakistan.
Attired in a golden crown and necklace, our Solstice Hare celebrates winter solstice; we like to imagine him watching over our dormant vineyards as the winter solstice approaches on December 21st. Like our other holiday illustrations in 2021, the illustration is inspired by Flora Springs’ matriarch and muse, Flora Komes, whose love for all living things, both great and small, was legendary. Shop now, and see our Holiday Shipping Guide for helpful ordering details including order deadlines to receive your shipment in time for winter solstice.
Friendsgiving is a blend of friend and Thanksgiving. According to dictionary.com, Friendsgiving is “a gathering of friends to celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast, falling near or on Thanksgiving Day, in contrast to the traditional celebrations that typically involve family.” While the word first appeared around 2007, it’s actually new enough that Friendsgiving didn’t make it into the dictionary until January 2020.
When Is Friendsgiving?
Friendsgiving can be celebrated any day, any time of year, but most gatherings take place in November, particularly the weekend before Thanksgiving. Many people celebrate Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Day too.
How to Celebrate Friendsgiving
Friendsgiving can be as formal or as casual as you and your crew want. We suggest a balanced “Napa Valley Casual” theme – take the food and wine seriously (but not too seriously), but mostly importantly have fun.
Set the tone with hors d’oeuvres that look fancy, but are easy to make. Bonus points for appetizers that can be made or prepped in advance. And don’t be shy about asking your guests to each bring a dish to share. Here are a few of our favorites.
Gougères Recipe from Bon Appétit These delicate cheese puffs always impress. Once you get the hang of the dough, you’ll serve them at every opportunity.
Makes about 50 Servings
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 ounces (1½ cups) grated Comté cheese or Gruyère
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 400°. Bring butter, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add flour, and stir to combine.
Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring vigorously, until a dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan and dough is no longer sticky, about 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and let dough cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between additions. Mix in cheese and pepper.
Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a ½” round tip (alternatively, use a plastic bag with a ½” opening cut diagonally from 1 corner). Pipe 1” rounds about 2” apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Whisk egg yolk and 1 tsp. water in a small bowl; brush rounds with egg wash.
Bake gougères until puffed and golden and dry in the center (they should sound hollow when tapped), 20–25 minutes.
DO AHEAD! Dough can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Gougères can be baked 2 hours ahead; reheat before serving.
Crostini Recipe by Flora Springs Wine Club Manager Madeline Nossiter
Ingredients Makes about 50 Servings
2 French-style baguettes
12 oz plain goat cheese
Mixed fresh greens herbs of your choice (we recommend thyme, basil, tarragon)
Red Relish – can be store-bought or made with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onions
Cut baguettes into ¼-inch thick slices.
Arrange in one layer on sheet pan and brush each slice with a nice olive oil.
Toast in 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, toasts are done when slightly brown and crispy – let cool.
Spread room-temperate goat cheese on toasts in thin layer.
Top half of toasts with herb mixture and other half with red relish.
Autumn Mixed Greens Salad Recipe by Flora Springs Wine Club Manager Madeline Nossiter
Makes about 10 Servings
Approximately one pound of fresh mixed greens/mesclun
4 ounces aged Asiago or Parmesan Reggiano
3 ounces roasted hazelnuts
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar of choice (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
If greens aren’t washed, wash and dry.
Put greens in large salad bowl, toss with vinaigrette.
Garnish with saved cheese and nuts.
In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well with a small whisk or a fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.
Taste, and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it out with a bit more olive oil or balance the flavors with a little more honey. If the mixture is a little blah, add another pinch or two of salt. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade vinaigrette keeps well for 7 to 10 days. If your vinaigrette solidifies somewhat in the fridge, don’t worry about it—real olive oil tends to do that. Simply let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave very briefly (about 20 seconds) to liquify the olive oil again. Whisk to blend and serve.
Regarding the sides and main dish – go traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all the trimmings, or try something new; we’ll let you decide!
Err on the side of more is better—you don’t want to run out. Like purchasing Thanksgiving wine, figure one bottle per drinking person, and offer a nice mix of red, white, and rosé. Be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages as well. You don’t want anyone over-consuming either. Our wine experts are available via phone at (800) 913-1118, email, or chat if you’d like a hand putting together a mixed case that will please your crowd. Shop now, and see our Holiday Shipping Guide for helpful ordering details including Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving shipping deadlines.
Relax, have fun, and enjoy your friends’ company – cheers!
Halloween is always a cause for celebration at Flora Springs. After all, with one of the few remaining Napa Valley Ghost Wineries in Napa Valley, we are constantly reminded that there are phantoms and spirits who walked here before us. For the last decade we’ve paid tribute to our ghostly history by producing special Halloween wine bottles, which have become some of our most anticipated and highly sought after annual releases.
Whether you’re fully ready to get your spooky on with all of your friends or just looking to amp up a chill hang, we worked some magic to round up a few tips to conjure up a spooktacular Halloween.
At-Home Halloween Party Inspiration
1) Cast Your Spell With These Bewitching Halloween Wines Treat yourself and your guests with our one-of-a-kind Halloween-themed labels. Order early, as these limited-edition wines sell out quickly—plus, shipping may take longer this year. See this year’s spooky selections.
“With Halloween fast approaching, treat yourself to special bottles from Flora Springs. This iconic Napa Valley winery celebrates every Halloween with flair. This collectable bottle changes annually, but for each Halloween-themed label the winery’s General Manager, Nat Komes, collaborates with a variety of artists. Marc Sasso, an artist from New York known for comics, skateboards, and album covers, designed this “witches at a party” label. The sumptuously sleek wine inside is made with Cabernet Franc (the Good Witch of red grape varieties). It showcases dark berry fruit, mineral notes, and a supple texture for a serious wine with a whimsical touch.”Read more. —Leslie Sbrocco, San Francisco Bay Times
2) Impress With Jack-o-Lantern Baked Brie by The Okayest Moms Easy to make, fun, and delicious—the perfect appetizer! Find the recipe here.
3) Serve Up Pumpkin Cacio e Pepe by My Diary of Us A seasonally-inspired twist on a favorite pasta dish that’s cozy and hearty, find the recipe here.
4) Decorate Sustainably and On a Budget Look around your house and repurpose your succulents, houseplants or other decor to create a festive setting.
6) Make Your Photos Insta-Worthy Wow your followers with an epic photo of your Halloween celebration featuring a surprise smoke bomb, just like @wishesandwine.
Or, dress all in black and find a gorgeous background like @napavalleytip.
What ideas do you have in your bag of tricks? Share your Halloween photos with us on Instagram—tag @florasprings and use #florasprings. We’ll share the best of the bunch and one lucky Flora Springs fan will win a Flora Springs prize pack.*
*Must be 21+ to enter. Void where prohibited. Wine will not be included in prize pack. Chance of winning depends on number of entries.
Note: The article excerpted below was originally published in the Napa Valley Register and can be found here.
“…Ten miles northwest is the also-eccentric tasting room for Flora Springs, which emulates the cave style of Jarvis with the asymmetry and playful nature of Quixote. Right alongside Highway 29 at the gateway to St. Helena, Flora Springs certainly grabs the attention of those driving by. A striped mound-shape, the tasting room differs significantly from the surrounding bistros and minimalist exteriors.
“We wanted the building to feel like the entrance to a wine cave built into a mountainside, so we used bent plywood to give the structure its curvature and painted the outside to represent the natural geologic striations of the earth,” said founder John Komes. “The name Flora Springs combines the name of Flora Komes, my mother and our matriarch, with the natural springs that run in the western hillsides, so we wanted to capture the natural energy of the springs as well.”
Komes has a background in construction, so he wasn’t too hung up with the building process and was sure to incorporate a laid-back meeting space outside on the backside of the facility.
“Beautiful wine caves have and always will be a draw for guests to the Napa Valley, so it’s nice to be able to offer a sense of that with our tasting room, but our outdoor patio and rooftop deck have a different sensibility,” said Komes….” Read more.
With harvest just around the corner we thought we’d take you through a pictorial of the 2021 growing season so far. Though we have yet to bring our grapes in, our weather has been lovely in Napa Valley and we’re looking forward to another outstanding vintage.
February:Vines are Dormant
These neatly pruned vines in John Komes’ vineyard were dormant back in February, patiently waiting to wake up for the 2021 growing season.
Budbreak, when buds swell and the vines put out their first leaves, occurred right on time, rippling through our vineyards in March.
May: Fruit Set
Just a few weeks later in May, flower clusters destined to become grapes began to appear, a growth stage known as fruit set. Photosynthesis and vine growth sped up dramatically.
Late May: Canopy Management
Within a couple of weeks, the vines had full canopies which we managed by hand throughout the season to ensure the grapes had just the right amount of dappled sunlight.
June: Berry Clusters
The first berries to form in June were green and hard to the touch. The clusters looked very healthy though, and we began to get a sense of how big the vineyard crop is going to be (hint: small).
In late July the fruit started to go through veraison, the period when the grapes soften and develop color. Just a few weeks from now we’ll be in harvest, and at Flora Springs we can’t wait!