Napa’s Historic Flora Springs: CA Wine

Seems like California Wine Month this September sped by: somehow tomorrow is the final day of a month’s worth of festivities up and down the state! Continue reading

Joy to the World: It’s time for #Wine!

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Once a month or so, Que Syrah Sue and I sit down with our calendars and a glass or two of wine, we pull out the wine samples, and much like a chess game, we move the bottles of wine around the table as we try to figure out what we’re going to taste, and when, and how, and most importantly, what’s the story we want to tell through the wine. And yesterday was that day we put on the sticky notes for December. Heads up: Sat Dec 3 is gonna be crazy good!

First off, did you know Continue reading

Happy Hallowine and A Toast to Ghost Wineries

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You might think of the month of October as Ghost Hunting Month, with the penultimate night of the month the perfect day to go out hunting for ghosts.

But actually the first day of October is National Ghost Hunting Day. (Who knew?)

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Goals of National Ghost Hunting Day include raising public awareness of best practices and professionalism in paranormal investigation, increasing appreciation of local history and landmarks across the nation, and uniting and organizing a network of ghost hunting teams in common cause to benefit local Humane Societies and non-profit animal shelters throughout the country.

When I saw that haunted pumpkin wine label (above) for Flora Springs on Twitter, I was instantly entranced and knew exactly what wine would be perfect for Ghost Hunting: one from a Ghost Winery!

A Ghost Winery? What’s a Ghost Winery?

By 1920, California wineries numbered 700; by the end of Prohibition, in 1933, we had only 40. The wineries that didn’t make it are known as “ghost wineries” as all that was left was the ghost of the winery.

Flora Springs is one of those “ghost wineries” that was built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20’s due to vine disease, the Great Depression, and Prohibition. What is now Flora Springs was originally planted in 1885 by the Rennie Brothers, but a 1900 fire along with the other challenges turned the property into a ghost winery from 1904 until 1933 when Louis Martini bought it and lived there until he died in the 1970s. In 1977, Jerry and Flora Komes bought the property, and renovated and restored it. Since 2010, Flora Springs has offered a special bottling with distinct labels on small amounts of estate-grown wines to highlight the winery’s unusual history.

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On Saturday October 1, celebrate Ghost Wineries and Ghost Hunting Day at the Ojai Library, 111 E. Ojai Ave from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at a CSU Channel Islands free public lecture that will discuss Southern California’s Ghost Wineries, part of a series from September through December at libraries throughout Ventura County, as well as the Channel Islands Boating Center. Here’s the list of what, where and when of future lectures.

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