January 24, 2018
By John Komes, Proprietor, Flora Springs
Everyone who knows me knows I have an affinity for wild boars. That’s why we named one of our Single Vineyard Cabernets Wild Boar.
My first encounter with a wild boar happened back in the mid-1970s. My dad had purchased some land over in Pope Valley, about 100 acres with 60 acres of vines. Back then, Pope Valley was even more remote and rugged than it is today. Even though it’s just a few miles east of Napa Valley proper, Pope Valley seemed – and still seems – like a step back in time. Anyway, there was an old house on this property that had nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms but no living room. One can only surmise what that house was originally built for!
Since I was a contractor, my dad asked me if I could add a living room to the house. I hired some workers, and one of them was up on a scaffold doing some plastering when he saw a wild boar grazing nearby. He called me and said ‘John, there’s a wild boar on your property. Can I shoot him?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you call the game warden?’ He said, ‘John, a wild boar is a varmint; all I need is your permission.’ I said ‘Ok, as long as you give me the hind quarter.’ So he got his gun, and he shot it. A few minutes later I got a call from my dad: ‘John, John! One of your guys just shot the neighbor’s pig!’”
And that’s how I decided to name one of our single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons “Wild Boar.” I guess I could have gone with “Neighbor’s Pig,” but Wild Boar has a better ring to it!
In 1997, we released our first Single Vineyard Cabernet — the 1994 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. At the time, Single Vineyard Cabernets from Napa Valley were quite rare. But John Komes recognized there was something special about a group of vines – Block J – located behind his home on the northwestern edge of the Rutherford appellation. Rather than blending he kept these wine lots separate and bottled less than 50 cases on their own, beginning a tradition we’ve held to ever since. The 1994 Rutherford Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon went on to receive 96 points from Wine Spectator. Learn more about our Single Vineyard Cabernets, including our newest release, the 2020 Wild Boar Cabernet Sauvignon.