Sharing a parking lot with nearby gourmet grocery store Dean & DeLuca is Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards. A family-owned endeavor, the name Flora is derived from Flora Komes, the matriarch who, along with husband, Jerry, purchased a vineyard as a retirement project. Their children got involved, hired winemaker Ken Deis and a legacy was born. Deis was winemaker for almost 20 years, but since 2008, Ken’s assistant, Paul Steinauer, took over the reins. I am always drawn to Flora Springs for its stylistic architecture, fluid and organic, it is reminiscent of a hobbit’s hovel; warm and whimsical. This is a juxtaposition to the tasting room’s interior, which is also fluid and organic, but elegant and understated. The long tasting bar flows and twists from one end of the room to the other, but created from the same wooden slats and brass strips used in the creation of wine barrels so that the illusion of the barrel is carried throughout the space.
I love the feel of the place and know they produce a number of specialty wines which were not made available to me on my visit. Their standard pours are decent enough for daily drinkers, but I have a feeling the single vineyard productions are the wines worth tasting. Considering the crowds this tasting room sees because of the grocery store overflow, it isn’t surprising they can’t accommodate every person who might be interested in their better quality vintages, but perhaps an appointment to taste would be worth trying for in the future.
2009 Pinot Grigio -Pale and easy-drinking with faint hints of clean tropical fruit upon the entry, but deepens a bit on the finish to produce white stone fruit. Slightly creamy, but mostly bright and engaging.
2007 Merlot – Slightly harsh, sharp entry, the ample berry fruit rounds out and softens to produce a spicy core.
2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon -Big, ample nose of dark cherry which continues with the ample mouth entry of dark, red fruit. A core of dusty herb and cocoa hits the center palate which finishes with touches of soft wood and tobacco.
Flora Springs Winery
1978 West Zinfandel Lane
St. Helena, 94574