Flora Springs, in St. Helena, Napa Valley, was founded in 1978 when Jerry and Flora Komes bought the former Louis M. Martini Winery. Their grown children joined them and the extended family today runs a 650-acre estate with vineyards through Napa Valley. Flora Springs is still owned and operated by the second and third generations of the Komes family. Flora Springs’ first successes were with Chardonnay but since then the estate has also produced highly regarded reds, including its Cabernet Rutherford Hillside Reserve and other single vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignons. The winery was one of the first in the region to introduce a Meritage-style red wine and its blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, called Trilogy, remains one of its signature wines. About 40,000 cases of wine are produced annually.
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,