Flora Springs owners John and Carrie Komes (right), Julie and Pat Garvey (left), sitting with winemaker
Ken Deis (middle). Photo by Dona Kopel Bonick
by Diana Greenwood
Spring is an invigorating season in Napa Valley. New grass is vibrant from winter rains. Warm weather sweet-talks the meadowlark's trill. Mustard is eager to bloom with vines in final rest before budding out to begin another year's hard work.
At the end of a country lane, over a covered bridge, around the bend, and tucked against the hills, you'll find Flora Springs Winery, a secret slice of heaven. Here you'll taste the fruit of the vine while you watch the wonders of nature. At Flora Springs, the Komes family believes wine is more than a luscious beverage to enjoy with food. It's a total sensory experience that begins with the slant of sun on soil and the scent of grapes ripe on vines; it's the sweat of the crew and the clink on the line. Flora Springs is a wine experience to the last drop, deep red against your glass.
"We've been in this same beautiful spot since 1978," said John Komes, family member and president of Flora Springs. "People love to come here and walk the vineyards. I always tell them that we're not into the snooty end of things and our wines are affordable because we sell wine, not attitude."
Flora Springs may be an unpretentious place but the wines are big and bold and they've elbowed their way to the top of critics' lists. The 2002 25th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon boasts about the 96-point rating granted by Robert Parker of The Wine Spectator, December 2005. Called a seriously profound, rich and concentrated wine, this Cab wows everyone from novice to, well, "snooty."
But at Flora Springs it really is all about respect for the mysteries of nature.
"Nature has often been generous to us but in difficult growing years we tend to work harder and perhaps we're more aware of what we have to do to create an outstanding wine," said Komes. "We just released our 2003 Trilogy and that was a difficult growing season but this vintage of Trilogy might be our best yet."
Winemaker, Ken Deis, calls 2003 Trilogy a "gutsy' Bordeaux blend made primarily from vineyards surrounding the winery. This vintage has a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than prior years therefore the robust Cab flavors of black cherry, cassis, and tea are forward yet accented by hints of raspberry from the Merlot, tobacco from the Cabernet Franc, plum from the Petit Verdot, and a ruby richness from the Malbec. One of the signature wines, Trilogy ages gracefully, promising pleasure for years to come.
With 9 vineyards and over 600 acres from which to source grapes, Flora Springs makes many different wines including a wonderful Chardonnay and a Sangiovese that's rapidly rising on favorites lists. There are two Flora Springs tasting rooms to visit, one that's open to the public daily and easy to find at 677 South St. Helena Highway (next to Dean and Delucca), and the other, at the working winery in that pristine setting. To visit Flora Springs Winery at 1978 West Zinfandel Lane, call (707) 967-6723 for an appointment. Tasting and tour is $20 with tours conducted daily at 10:00 and 2:00. Taste in the elegant winery then explore 1000 linear feet of caves.
Flora Springs hosts special events all year. Call now to reserve your spot. April 29th is the date for the Big Red event where Flora Springs will focus on the new releases of the 2003 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. On May 20th, Flora Springs celebrates the bonds of family with an event called A Night with Family. Next, Aloha Days, a fun-filled, flora-attired event, follows on July 15th.
This spring, visit Flora Springs Winery, walk the vineyards, watch the wonders of nature, and enjoy a total wine experience.