Let’s get into the festive Christmas spirit with red wine. Flora Springs, Napa Valley, celebrates the season with their holiday Cabernet Sauvignon. These special etched bottles are a keepsake. It is the perfect gift for the Cabernet lover, as I discovered a very Christmassy wine with rich fruit.
History of Flora Springs
Understanding the background of Flora Springs gives meaning to this holiday Cabernet Sauvignon. Flora’s presence permeates the winery. It all began when Flora and Jerry Komes purchased 325 acres of land from the Martini Estate, which included 60 acres of vineyards. Although established in 1978, the vineyard dates back to the 1800s when grapes were initially planted on this parcel. Today, that property is part of the Komes Vineyard.
From the start, Flora was ahead of her time as a very independent woman. She was determined to become a nurse before marrying her husband, Jerry. When Jerry retired in 1976, they decided to move to Napa Valley. Flora saw the magic of the property. Although Flora’s kids, John and Julie, started the winery, her spirit and love of nature inspired them to leap into winemaking.
Flora’s pioneering spirit also came through in those early days when they hired Mary Ann Graf as their consulting winemaker. She was the first woman to graduate with a degree in viticulture and enology from UC Davis and the first female winemaker in the United States.
The winery’s name, Flora Springs, incorporates John and Julie’s love of their mother’s spirit with the springs that run through the property.
Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon
Flora loved to carol during the holidays. Her holiday celebrations always included caroling, and General Manager Nat Komes’ wanted to honor the memories of his grandmother. He continues the tradition of engaging carolers to perform at the St. Helena Tasting Room.
Nat Komes started the creation of Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon. The project began as a way of thanking club members, but due to its popularity, these holiday-themed bottles are now available to the general public. The bottles are etched and painted by hand, with the capsules and back labels applied individually. Each year, three new designs emerge for the holiday season.
In keeping with the theme of carolers and to honor Flora further, Nat created a holiday Cabernet Sauvignon called Gnome Carolers. Gnome Carolers represents the label for the 2019 Holiday Red Blend. The wine consists primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon from two vineyards, Komes Vineyard in Rutherford and Crossroads Vineyard in Oakville. This wine ages 18 months in 70% French and 30% American oak.
The wine displays rich dark fruit, especially blackberry, accented by baking spices that enhance this wine’s rich, smooth textures.
Other Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon
This year, there are three different holiday wines. The 2019 Holiday Cabernet Sauvignon Papa Quail consists of 100% Cabernet from Komes Vineyard in Rutherford and Windfall Vineyard in Oakville. The bottle’s design represents California’s state bird and Flora’s love of living things, regardless of size.
Another 2019 Holiday Red Blend showcases Two Turtle Doves. The turtle doves represent peace, and the Christmas Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is a favorite carol of Flora.
The three Flora Springs holiday wines can be purchased individually or all three in one package.
Flora’s inspiration lives on through these artist renditions of the Flora Springs festive holiday Cabernet Sauvignon wines. They are a unique gift for any wine lover, spreading cheers for the season. Sampling the wine brought back memories of my first visit to the Flora Springs winery in the 1980s.
Common to the wine industry, this writer received hosted wine samples. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.