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Many of us are in a dedicated love affair with Napa Valley wines. But most of my readers confess their love for these wines doesn’t always line up with their everyday dinner budget.

There are Napa Valley wineries offering exceptional wines that won’t break the bank.

Flora Springs Winery was one of the first wineries I visited during my inaugural visit to Napa Valley more than 15 years ago. I was honored with a private one-on-one tour. Flora Springs Winery was founded in 1978 by Jerry and Flora Komes and the winery remains a family affair.

Flora Springs started making cabernet sauvignon in the late 1970s using the Bordeaux model, much like others in the Napa Valley. This was a time in U.S. winemaking that winemakers wanting high quality cabernets were producing them to warrant long periods of aging. Before aging, most of these wines were simply too big, tannic and overpowering to drink.

Flora Springs’ Napa Valley Merlot is one of those people-pleasing wines nearly everyone enjoys. It was Flora Komes’ favorite with its supple fruit flavors and easygoing texture. The 2016 brings all of Napa Valley’s best vineyards into one bottle with the fruits sourced from the prestigious sites of St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville, properties Flora Springs has owned and farmed for decades. My reason for buying this wine is — not only am I getting Napa Valley’s finest — it is priced so I can fit it into my everyday dinner budget.

The 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet also comes from the coveted sustainably farmed estate vineyards of St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville. It’s not only the source of the grapes making this wine exceptional, but the detail and techniques used by Flora Springs in winemaking. This wine was made with hand harvested grapes, cold soaked for several days to extract flavor and color. Several of their lots underwent extended maceration to refine and soften the tannins, making the wines much more approachable. And to add to the complexity of this wine the winemaker aged it in French and American oak barrels for 19 months prior to blending.


  • 2016 Flora Springs Winery Napa Valley Merlot, California (about $35 retail)


  • 2016 Flora Springs Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $50 retail)