Winemaking

Dedication to Quality


"Our family’s goal is to over-deliver on every aspect of our business, particularly when it comes to the quality and consistency of our wines. As farmers and winemakers, our dedication to quality begins in the vineyards and continues through every aspect of winemaking.”

- General Manager Nat Komes


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With estate vineyards located throughout Napa Valley and in some of its most famous sub-appellations – St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, and Carneros – our family has incredible resources when it comes to crafting the wines in our portfolio. With so much to choose from, we are highly selective in the wines we see to bottle, always adhering to our guiding principle of putting quality above quantity.

Several of our wines, such as our Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons from Rutherford, St. Helena and Oakville, are derived purely from nature, bottlings meant to express a singular site in a single vintage. Others, such as our flagship red blend, Trilogy, and our Flora’s Legacy wines, are what we call architectural wines, assembled from different components with the goal of creating the finest wines of the vintage. Still others, such as our Napa Valley and Family Estate wines, offer accessibility and outstanding value.

Along with our experienced winemaking team, including Winemaker Paul Steinauer, Flora Springs wines are made with the invaluable input of Proprietor John Komes, whose experienced palate has been honed over decades of tasting wines and listening to customers. John and the Komes-Garvey family’s unwavering focus and commitment to quality have always been backed by significant investments in vineyard technology, winemaking equipment and oak barrels, and in recent years, our pledge to “over-deliver” on wine quality has been taken up by third generation family members Nat Komes and Sean Garvey. Working as a family and team, we strive to create Napa Valley wines that are delicious yet balanced, powerful yet restrained, cellar-worthy yet ready to enjoy.


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Paul Steinauer

Winemaker

One of Paul Steinauer’s early memories is riding in the back of a grape gondola with his brothers and cousins as his grandfather delivered just-harvested fruit to his good friend Louis Martini. “My family had vineyards in the Rutherford appellation just down the road from Flora Springs,” he says, noting that, coincidentally, it was Louis Martini who owned the Flora Springs property before Jerry and Flora Komes purchased it in 1977.

A St. Helena native, Paul attended the University of Oregon to study marketing and finance, but returned home to work at Joseph Phelps Vineyards between school years. “I realized I never looked forward to weekends because I couldn’t work. I was enamored with learning how to make wine, and anxious to go to work every day to learn more,” he recalls. That experience, plus an “epiphany” bottle of Howell Mountain Cabernet – “the most spectacular wine I’d tasted to that point” – was all Paul needed to determine he’d pursue a career in the wine industry. In 1990 he jumped at the opportunity to join the Flora Springs team as Assistant Winemaker. He was promoted to Winemaker in 2008.

Paul counts the magnificent estate fruit from Flora Springs’ nearly 600 acres of vineyards as a real boon to his task as winemaker, but he also appreciates the values engendered by the Komes Garvey families. “Since day one they have made me feel a part of their family.” One of Paul’s favorite memories concerns the day he was hired, August 20, 1990. “John Komes showed me around the estate. He stopped at the main cellar entrance, turned and looked me straight in the eye and said ‘If I ever look like I'm not having fun doing what I'm doing, let me know, because I'll need to find something else to do.’ It was then I knew I’d found a place to call home, and it’s been that way for half my life now.”

Throughout his career Paul has continually educated himself through courses at UC Davis and in tasting groups with winemaking peers. He also organizes a barrel tasting each year, inviting coopers and fellow winemakers to taste wines that have been aged in numerous types of barrels. “Outside the vineyard and vinification techniques, the most important component in the character and quality of a wine is the barrel. It’s important to know which barrel works best with each vineyard.” 

It is this striving for learning and improvement that defines Paul Steinauer as a winemaker. “We never rest on our laurels; I think complacency is a recipe for failure.” Whether it’s tinkering with a new fermentation technique, a different strain of yeast or malolactic culture, the cap management regimen or a new type of barrel or storage vessel, Paul is always experimenting, always trying something new. “Each year we strive not only to make a great wine, but one that is better than the year before.”

Paul is an avid fly-fisherman and golfer and an intrepid traveler: he has traversed all seven continents (including Antarctica), trekked through most of the world’s major winegrowing regions, and has visited over 40 countries.

Enrico Bertoz

Assistant Winemaker

With roots in the Friuli wine region of northern Italy, it’s no surprise that Enrico Bertoz decided to pursue a career in winemaking. But it wasn’t until his early 20’s that he set his sights on California. The U.S. had been on Enrico’s radar early on, as he had an aunt who lived in New York. So at the age of 24 he made the leap, packing his bags and moving to southern California to work as an intern at a Santa Barbara winery. Following his mentor’s advice to explore more of the Californian viticultural bounty, he moved to Napa in 2005.

After working at a couple different Napa wineries Enrico learned of the assistant winemaker position at Flora Springs. Making the move was a no brainer. “I saw that Flora Springs had their own vineyards strategically placed in some of the best appellations of Napa Valley,” he says. “I come from an Old World perspective, where the grower and the winemaker are one entity, there’s no dichotomy. That’s what attracted me to Flora Springs.” He joined the winery in 2008.

Today, Enrico works side-by-side with Winemaker Paul Steinauer to craft wines from Flora Springs’ estate vineyards. Although Friuli is not known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Enrico has come to love the varietal. “It’s a chameleon,” he says. “It’s fascinating to see how it expresses itself in different appellations and vineyards.”

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