Over 30 years have passed since Jerry and Flora Komes first stepped foot on to the historic Flora Springs estate in search of a place to "kick off their boots.” It's hard to imagine now, but the majestic stone cellar of Flora Springs was once an abandoned “ghost” winery. It was Flora who saw the magic hidden behind decades of neglect, over-grown ivy, and shifting rock walls. The property's winemaking roots date back to the nineteenth century, but it has been the work of Jerry and Flora's children, John Komes and his wife Carrie, and Julie Garvey and her husband Pat Garvey, that has written the history.
Located at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains in the far Northwest corner of the Rutherford appellation, the Flora Springs estate is in the heart of Napa Valley. Founded in 1978, Flora Springs has been a family affair for over three decades. As both artisan winemakers and growers, the family is committed to the traditions of fine winemaking and responsible stewardship of its 650 acres of vineyard land for future generations to savor and uphold.
Flora Springs Winery is named after two life-giving forces: the springs that flow unceasingly from the hills behind the winery and the beloved family matriarch, Flora Komes. Third-generation vintners Nat Komes and Sean Garvey, both of whom grew up at the winery, are now poised to take the helm guiding the winery into a new era of artisanal winemaking in the spirit of tradition, innovation, and community values epitomized by their grandparents, Flora and Jerry.
Today, Paul Steinauer, and co-proprietor and vineyard director Pat Garvey, continue their commitment to growing and hand crafting artisan wines that can be enjoyed young and vibrant or cellared and graceful. “The synergy we've created between the vineyard and winery is our foundation,” says Paul. “We share the same vision and dedicate all of our resources to realize that vision. I don't know any other way to make great wine.”
Paul's wine education has come through experience in the cellar at Flora Springs, enology courses at UC Davis, and since 1993, through his tasting group that includes winemakers at several Napa Valley wineries. He counts the magnificent estate fruit from Flora Springs' 650 acres of vineyards throughout the Napa Valley as a real boon to his task as a winemaker. “At Flora Springs, we're able to have seamless communication between the farming side and the production side,” says Paul.
In 1978, Pat traded his Master's Degree in Psychology and Counseling from the University of Santa Clara for a tractor – and the opportunity to launch a world-class Napa Valley winery with his wife, Julie Garvey, and his brother-in-law John Komes. As Vineyard Director for all of Flora Springs' vineyards since its inception, Pat has not only taken the responsibility to remain an innovator with meticulous farming practices to create world-class wines; he has done so with the overarching premise of stewardship and family values: all of Flora Springs' vineyards are 100 percent sustainable.
The Komes and Garvey families of Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards came to the wine business as farmers first. Their love of the land influences everything they do. Every wine they produce, from Trilogy, which comes from their first vineyard, to their single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, is crafted to express the beauty, the unique soils, and the microclimate of their respective vineyard sites.
As innovators, Flora Springs has pushed the boundaries in both the cellar and the vineyards. They were the first to night harvest, lugging generators and floodlights through the fields at two o'clock in the morning in the name of better fruit. When they grew tired of putting themselves and their neighbors at risk with the use of harmful sprays in the vineyards, they were the ones who championed sustainable farming and organic practices. Ninety percent of Flora Springs' red wines are sourced from its organically-farmed estate vineyards. Flora Springs continues its legacy as a pioneer in the American wine landscape. Inside the stone walls of their century-old winery you will find specifically tailored stainless steel and concrete fermenters sized to match the blocks on each of their estate vineyards. Beyond the stone archway of the cellar lays 1,000 linear feet of caves. Carved in to the hillside, they provide an ideal and energy efficient environment for aging wines. In December 2007 they implemented their most globally-conscious upgrade with the installation of 6,500 square feet of solar panels. Now all of their wines are crafted with solar energy. What some may describe as passion they explain as obsession.
Their Signature wines, Trilogy, Sauvignon Blanc “Soliloquy Vineyard,” and Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, are wines people tell stories over and tell stories about. Some bottles find their way into the cellars of exclusive restaurants and private libraries while others quickly become unforgettable memories.
After more than three decades of crafting elegant, complex wines from our Napa Valley estate vineyards, Trilogy remains one of Flora Springs most revered legacies. The three varietals merge together to form a beautifully balanced lush wine, with delicate aromatics of light pepper and granite dust and trademark flavors of ripe blackberries, blueberries and cassis. Their 2010 Trilogy is a beautifully balanced, opulent wine that leaves you wanting more. The aromatics jump out of the glass: luscious black cherry and sandalwood followed by blueberry and rhubarb. Black cherry is the driving force in the palate married with white pepper and sage and finishing with sweet earth and mushroom tones.
Their two-block Soliloquy Vineyard—planted entirely to Sauvignon Blanc—is named for their proprietary clone that has been certified by UC Davis as the “Soliloquy” Sauvignon Blanc clone. During the 2012 growing season, the Vineyard enjoyed ideal growing conditions. The daytime temperatures, averaging over 85°, and cool evenings, led to perfect ripening conditions. Both blocks were harvested during the second week of September. The flavor profile for their 2012 vintage exhibits Asian pear and orange blossom with hints of rose petal and lingering notes of lime and lemongrass. This is an extremely versatile wine that can be enjoyed by itself or paired with an array of dishes—from chilled asparagus to spinach salad with mandarin orange wedges.
The long running success of their Barrel Fermented Chardonnay is dependent on two of their select, sustainably farmed vineyards: Lavender Hill in Carneros, and Crossroads Ranch in Oakville. Each year, the grapes sourced from Crossroads Ranch provide winemaker Paul Steinauer with the perfect building blocks to create their Barrel Fermented Chardonnay. Located near Conn Creek and the Napa River, this vineyard presents a nearly perfect climate for Chardonnay, with afternoon breezes and cool morning fog playing ideal bookends to the long warm days of summer. Lavender Hill Vineyard in Carneros on the other hand has even cooler temperatures and enhanced breezes. Fruit here ripens slowly and tends to garner more of the tropical fruit flavors. The 2011 vintage has hints of orange peel, caramel and honey. The palate is rich with sweet pear, fig and vanilla. The wine finishes with an elegant toasty brioche character.
Flora Springs has two locations: The Room and The Estate.
The Room is Napa Valley like you have never experienced before: a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere with fun people and top-rated wines. The Room's modern design evokes the natural springs and hillside caves of the Estate, located just down the road. The Vineyard Courtyard picnic area and Rooftop Lounge provide views of surrounding vineyards. The Private Cave Rooms are available for group tastings with the friendly and educational hospitality staff. No appointment necessary for groups less than six people – drop in for a wine tasting flight or food pairing with their top-rated Napa Valley wines, or even wine by the glass. The Room is located just south of downtown St. Helena and is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Perched at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains, at the widest point in the valley, the panoramic views from The Estate are stunning. Flora Springs invites you to wander through the 13,500 square feet of hillside caves and experience a first-hand, authentic barrel tasting, just as their winemaker does. Enjoy the sights from one of the many historic moss-covered rock walls or from the bocce court, or lose yourself in the gardens. They will look the other way if you pick an orange from Flora's trees or put a fig in your pocket. Visits are by appointment only.