Victims of Volstead, The Ellsworth American

April 27, 2017

Note: The following article written by Stephen Fay and published in The Ellsworth American can also be found here.

If you thought Prohibition was tough on wine drinkers, imagine what it did to wine makers.

The 13-year stretch from 1920 to 1933 just about killed the California wine industry. The Volstead Act’s ruinous disregard for a good time was especially disastrous for the Napa Valley, which had weathered the phylloxera blight of the late 19th century and the great earthquake of 1906 that flattened its warehouses only to be crushed like one of its own grapes when the “drys” prevailed.

As with any prohibition, the initial reaction was to cheat. Medicinal wines that could cure only sobriety became a hot item. But so many permits were sought for the manufacture of patent medicines that the federal authorities cracked down.

Some found religion in the Volstead Act, noting that it allowed an exclusion for sacramental wine. Religious leaders, in particular, managed to secure a steady supply with the result that attendance at Mass and temple took off. Suddenly, sacramental champagne, crème de menthe and brandy became instrumental in communing with God.

A federal judge was asked to rule on whether these alcoholic offshoots qualified for the sacramental wine exception. He ruled it was OK, saying “it is not the content of the beverage, but the purpose for which it will be used that determines whether or not it is sacramental wine.”

The Beaulieu Vineyards of Northern California sent sacramental wine to churches across the country. Wente Vineyards, Beringer and Martini also remained afloat by selling to the church. But only barely.

Because it wasn’t the same. The Napa Valley wine industry had been the finest in the nation, supplementing perfect terroir and weather with technical advice and advances from the oenological studies department at the University of California at Davis. But enforcement ramped up and production ramped down. According to an Aug. 16, 1923, story in the Napa Valley Register, the county treasury had been “enriched by $7,100 in bootleg fines from raids conducted in one day in St. Helena, Calistoga and other points in the valley.”

The result? Napa Valley wineries built between 1860 and 1900 were abandoned. Sitting empty, they were known in the valley as “ghost wineries.”

And there the story might have ended, might never have been known, were it not for the efforts of Flora Springs, arguably the source of the best reds in Northern California. A limited label — Flora Springs Ghost Winery — honors the history with an estate-grown malbec for which the adjective has not yet been invented.

It’s bull’s blood black with deep, dark fruit. The flavors of black cherry and plums join to create a single, joyous note from first sip to final swallow. This is but one of the products Prohibition sought to eradicate. And it took years before the Napa Valley recovered and restored itself to the pantheon of best wineries.

The vineyards have survived blight, earthquake, the Volstead Act and the Depression, overcoming adversity and offering a fresh take on Hemingway’s observation that “the world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong in the broken places.”

International Sauvignon Blanc Day

April 24, 2017

Join us for the for seventh annual global online celebration for one of our favorite varietals, Sauvignon Blanc.

Not many wineries can claim to have their own proprietary clone, but our “Soliloquy” clone of Sauvignon Blanc, certified by UC Davis in the 1980s, earns us membership in this very exclusive club. We’re so enamored of this clone that we named a vineyard after it, our Soliloquy Vineyard in the Oakville appellation. Oakville is traditionally Cabernet Sauvignon country, but our family has nurtured these special vines of Sauvignon Blanc as a testament to this extraordinary site and to the potential for Soliloquy – our Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – to stand side by side with Trilogy, our flagship red wine.

How to participate:

*Must be 21+ to enter. Void where prohibited. Wine will not be included in prize pack. Chance of winning depends on number of entries.

Arts in April: Live Music at The Room

April 22, 2017

As part of our Arts in April celebration, join us at The Room from 2 – 3:30 pm for live music by Tim Marconett.

Bay Area native Tim Marconett is a Neo-soul singer songwriter and guitarist who has captivated audiences around the world. After establishing himself in the Bay Area he studied music performance at the ICMP in London. He went on to tour in Europe and the Caribbean and has played with greats like Jorge Santana and Narada Micheal Walden.

You can stop in anytime in April to see our latest seasonal art installation – “Imagine” by local artists the Baker Sisters. The exterior of our tasting room has been transformed into a living tribute to Flora Komes, our mother, grandmother, and the woman who inspired the founding of Flora Springs Winery. Then, step inside for an art-centric flight of family wines and peruse a curated gallery, featuring some of the most popular visual artists in the valley.

Thank you to ​Ivy Hill Entertainment for helping us to design this personalized event experience.

Arts in April: Live Music at The Room

April 15, 2017

As part of our Arts in April celebration, join us at The Room from 2 – 3:30 pm for live music by Jean Terrace.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Natalie Smith is a personable artist and a seasoned, distinctive songwriter. Smith brings to her audience a light hearted and honest story telling of her own original music.

You can stop in anytime in April to see our latest seasonal art installation – “Imagine” by local artists the Baker Sisters. The exterior of our tasting room has been transformed into a living tribute to Flora Komes, our mother, grandmother, and the woman who inspired the founding of Flora Springs Winery. Then, step inside for an art-centric flight of family wines and peruse a curated gallery, featuring some of the most popular visual artists in the valley.

Thank you to ​Ivy Hill Entertainment for helping us to design this personalized event experience.

Arts in April: Live Music at The Room

April 8, 2017

As part of our Arts in April celebration, join us at The Room from 12 – 3 pm for live music by North Beach Brass Band.

San Francisco’s homegrown North Beach Brass Band is both a traditional brass band playing early jazz and show standards and an electrified post-bebop funk/jazz act playing classic groove jazz riffs. The lineup of sax, trumpet, trombone, tuba, bass drum, snare drum covers a wide array of genres, including New Orleans classics in the spirit of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band,

You can stop in anytime in April to see our latest seasonal art installation – “Imagine” by local artists the Baker Sisters. The exterior of our tasting room has been transformed into a living tribute to Flora Komes, our mother, grandmother, and the woman who inspired the founding of Flora Springs Winery. Then, step inside for an art-centric flight of family wines and peruse a curated gallery, featuring some of the most popular visual artists in the valley.

Thank you to ​Ivy Hill Entertainment for helping us to design this personalized event experience.

Join Us for National Library Week: Libraries Transform

April 8, 2017

First observed in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

This year, National Library Week will be observed April 9-15, with the theme “Libraries Transform.”

Nat Komes, third generation family member and Flora Springs General Manager, has a particular affinity for libraries, as his mother worked as a librarian when he was growing up. Nat developed a great love of reading, which continues to this day, and which he is sharing with his own children now. In fact, after spending time at the library reading to them, Nat has found inspiration for several of his wine projects.

We will be celebrating National Library Week, as well as the 40th anniversary of the winery, by opening our wine library April 8 – 15. Library wines are older, unique, and rare wines that have been purposefully stored to age. Like libraries transform minds, the aging process transforms wine – often in unexpected and delightful ways.

Stay tuned as we will be releasing select library wines, available exclusively online.

Join us at The Room or The Estate for our limited-time Libraries Transform tasting experience and discover for yourself how age has transformed the 1989, 1995, and 2011 vintages of Trilogy.

We will also be celebrating with live music at The Room, located at 677 St. Helena Highway in St. Helena, on April 8th and April 15th. Both The Room and The Estate, located at 1978 West Zinfandel Lane in St. Helena, are open 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week. Reservations are required to visit The Estate. Additional tasting fees for the library wines may apply.

You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and follow along with hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform.

For more information, contact The Room at theroom@florasprings.com or (866) 967-8032, or The Estate at theestate@florasprings.com or (707) 967-6723.

Arts in April: Our Latest Seasonal Art Installation at The Room

April 1, 2017

We’ve once again commissioned Melissa and Mercedes Baker, known as The Baker Sisters, to create several seasonal art installations at The Room this year.

As a celebration of Arts in April and Earth Day, currently installed on the exterior of the tasting room is “Imagine” – a living tribute to Flora Komes, our mother, grandmother, and the woman who inspired the founding of Flora Springs Winery.

Visit any day in April to witness this tremendous artistic feat. Then, step inside for an art-centric flight of select wines and peruse a curated gallery – featuring some of the most popular visual artists in the valley. Every weekend we will feature a mix of live music, live paint sessions, a barbershop quartet, and spontaneous songs courtesy of BottleRock’s – and our own – Serf & James.

Join us after-hours for our Flora’s Social Open House on April 21st. Learn more and RSVP by April 19th.

Love the land and it will love you back,” as Flora said, and after 40 years of winemaking over three generations, this remains at the heart of Flora Spring’s mission.

Learn more about Arts in April.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at our Arts in April Flora’s Social Open House which took place on April 21st:

The Baker Sisters: Melissa and Mercedes Baker
The Baker Sisters: Melissa and Mercedes Baker
VIP Guests Mingling in The Room
VIP Guests Mingling in The Room
Live Music in the Vineyard Courtyard
Live Music in the Vineyard Courtyard
Perusing the Curated Art Gallery
Perusing the Curated Art Gallery

 

 

Join Us for International Sauvignon Blanc Day: April 24

March 29, 2017

Join us for the for seventh annual global online celebration for one of our favorite varietals, Sauvignon Blanc.

Not many wineries can claim to have their own proprietary clone, but our “Soliloquy” clone of Sauvignon Blanc, certified by UC Davis in the 1980s, earns us membership in this very exclusive club. We’re so enamored of this clone that we named a vineyard after it, our Soliloquy Vineyard in the Oakville appellation. Oakville is traditionally Cabernet Sauvignon country, but our family has nurtured these special vines of Sauvignon Blanc as a testament to this extraordinary site and to the potential for Soliloquy – our Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – to stand side by side with Trilogy, our flagship red wine.

How to participate:

*Must be 21+ to enter. Void where prohibited. Wine will not be included in prize pack. Chance of winning depends on number of entries.

Join Us for National Library Week, April 9-15: Libraries Transform

March 25, 2017

First observed in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

This year, National Library Week will be observed April 9-15, with the theme “Libraries Transform.”

Nat Komes, third generation family member and Flora Springs General Manager, has a particular affinity for libraries, as his mother worked as a librarian when he was growing up. Nat developed a great love of reading, which continues to this day, and which he is sharing with his own children now. In fact, after spending time at the library reading to them, Nat has found inspiration for several of his wine projects.

We will be celebrating National Library Week, as well as the 40th anniversary of the winery, by opening our wine library. Library wines are older, unique, and rare wines that have been purposefully stored to age. Like libraries transform minds, the aging process transforms wine – often in unexpected and delightful ways.

Stay tuned as we will be releasing select library wines, available exclusively online.

Join us at The Room or The Estate for our limited-time Libraries Transform tasting experience and discover for yourself how age has transformed the 1989, 1995, and 2011 vintages of Trilogy.

We will also be celebrating with live music at The Room on April 8th and April 15th.

You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and follow along with hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform.

For more information, contact The Room at theroom@florasprings.com or (866) 967-8032, or The Estate at theestate@florasprings.com or (707) 967-6723.

Purple Teeth Barrel Tasting -SOLD OUT-

March 17, 2017

Led by our winemaking team Paul Steinauer and Enrico Bertoz, explore the impact of different barrel coopers by tasting eight different barrel samples of the same wine. Experience the art of barrel making with a demonstration of firing and building a barrel. Small bites included. Limited to only 50 guests.

$80 per person | Wine Club: $64

Contact us at 707-967-6723 or theestate@florasprings.com to purchase your tickets today.

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