We Have a Thirst for Conserving Water

May 30, 2022

When you live in California, you understand deep down that water is a precious resource. Periodic droughts have been a fact of life here for decades if not centuries, and even in years when winter storms are plentiful, our Mediterranean climate means we get very little – if any – rain from May through September.

That’s actually good for grape growing, since wine grapes don’t require as much water as many other crops. But grapevines do need some water, and as farmers we’re always looking for ways to irrigate as judiciously as possible. It begins by studying our soils.

Komes Ranch Rutherford Napa Valley

One vineyard or even one block can have several types of soils; Napa Valley has more than 100 soil variations. We know that soils heavy in clay need less water than sandy soils, which drain more easily. So we adjust our irrigation regimes to match these different soil types.

For example, at the Komes Ranch, we have six irrigation zones within one 15-acre block. Once we’ve “mapped” the soils, we use several different technologies to measure vine stress during the growing season. These include aerial images (known as Normalized Dierence Vegetation Index or NDVI) that help us understand which sections of our vineyards are undergoing heat stress. We also use fancy sounding evapotranspiration sensors, sap flow meters and soil sensors that measure the water content of our soils and stress of the vines.

By using these measurements, we are able to precisely target the areas of our vineyards that need irrigation. Over the last few years these technologies have resulted in water savings of approximately 50%. What’s more, we’ve found that being more precise in our irrigation practices results in higher quality grapes, a win/win for us and the planet!

Vineyard Views Napa Valley

Napa Valley Vineyards

With estate properties stretching from the cool, rolling hills of Carneros to the famed sub-appellations of Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena, Flora Springs produces varietal wines ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red Bordeaux varietals. Each year the family selects a small percentage of the yield for their own wines, selling the remaining fruit to neighboring Napa Valley wineries. This selection puts the focus on quality, not quantity, resulting in hand-crafted wines that meet the family’s exacting standards. Learn more about our Napa Valley vineyards.

Sustainable Farming

As a family that came to the wine business as farmers first, our love of the land influences everything we do. Our environmental stewardship led us to embrace sustainable and organic farming early on. Our search for superior vineyards sites led us to acquire land in some of Napa Valley’s finest appellations, including Rutherford, Oakville, St. Helena and Carneros. Over the years, as we’ve planted and replanted this land to vines, we’ve experimented with rootstocks, clones, trellising systems and a variety of viticultural techniques, always striving to produce the best possible quality.

Every wine we produce, from Trilogy to our single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, is crafted to express the singular soils, microclimates, and beauty of its respective vineyard origins. Learn more about our sustainable farming practices.


Flora Springs Entrusts Château Smith Haut Lafitte With Stewardship of Historic Napa Valley Estate

February 20, 2020

Flora Springs Napa Valley Estate Vineyards

“We’re excited to have found Château Smith Haut Lafitte and the Cathiards, a well-known family from Bordeaux with a long history in winemaking, to take over the stewardship of this beloved property and 58 acres of vines in Rutherford, Napa Valley. We look forward to watching them nourish this land in the years to come,” says John Komes, speaking on behalf of the Komes-Garvey family. “This represents a bright new chapter for Flora Springs where our family’s next generation can be laser focused on excellent winemaking, customer service and hospitality.”

While Komes Ranch was first established in 1977 by Jerry and Flora Komes, our legacy dates back to the late 1800s when wine grapes were first planted by the Rennie Brothers. James and William, immigrants from Scotland, planted 60 acres of grapes and built a stone gravity flow winery. When Flora and Jerry came upon the property at the end of West Zinfandel Lane in St. Helena, it was Flora who saw the magic hidden behind the decades of neglect, overgrown ivy, and the shifting rock walls of the old ghost winery. They purchased the property from Louis M. Martini.

In 1978 John and Carrie Komes and Julie and Pat Garvey, along with their parents Jerry and Flora, were among Napa Valley’s first post-Prohibition pioneers as they founded Flora Springs Winery, naming it after Flora and the natural springs that run through the land.

Our family legacy in Napa Valley unfolded over the next 40 years of producing hand crafted, critically-acclaimed wines, including our flagship wines, Trilogy and Soliloquy, as well as our single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons sourced from our family’s vineyards throughout Napa Valley’s most revered sub-appellations.

The depth of this history reminds us that as stewards of this land, our family’s commitment to its health and vitality will be felt far into the future. Over the years, we have welcomed esteemed neighbors including Dana Estates, Sinegal Estate Winery, and now Cathiard Vineyard, who share our commitment to environmental stewardship.

“It was love at first sight,” Florence Cathiard told Wine Spectator, noting that visiting the estate—beautiful and rural, surrounded by forest—reminded her of when she first saw Smith-Haut-Lafitte.

Today the Komes-Garvey family remains committed to innovative sustainable and organic farming practices over our family’s 257 acres of prime Napa Valley vineyard land, exceptional winemaking, as well as customer service and hospitality at our popular Tasting Room in St. Helena. As a family that came to the wine business as farmers first, our love of the land influences everything we do. Every day we pay tribute to Flora’s love of all things living, and of ensuring that the land she loved is here for the next generation, and the next. It is an integral part of our heritage as well as the legacy we leave.