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.
Join the 7th Annual Online Celebration of Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc is often considered a blending grape, but after farming a small block near John Komes’ home on the Rutherford side of the Komes Ranch for decades now, we know this grape can produce a luscious, smooth and rich wine that stands on its own.
For the past seven years, Nat Komes has delighted in creating a limited-edition, one-of-a-kind Halloween Wine, a Cabernet Franc named All Hallows’ Eve.
Cabernet Franc Day
How to participate:
Join us online December 4. We’ll be talking about Cab Franc all day.
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!
Join the 12th Annual Global Celebration of Cabernet.
Cabernet Day is a global celebration of the Cabernet grape, intended to give Cabernet lovers around the world a fun opportunity to express their passion for the grape. Cabernet lovers come together in person and online to discover and share everything about Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet-based blends.
We are proud to say that after almost 40 years of winemaking and more than 30 years of crafting Trilogy – our flagship Cabernet-based red blend – Flora Springs is still breaking new ground. We credit the consistent organic and sustainable farming practices of our vineyard team as well as the focus and direction of our winemaking team.
After thirty years of crafting world-renowned wines, the Flora Springs name has become synonymous with perfectly balanced Napa Valley white wines. The legacy began when our inaugural vintage in 1978, when our Napa Valley Chardonnay was awarded a gold medal at the Los Angeles County Fair. A few years later our status of gold was bronzed when James Laube selected Flora Springs as one of his “First Growth” producers of Chardonnay in his book California’s Great Chardonnays. We now proudly craft Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and our flagship white wine Soliloquy.
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!