Meet the Team
John Komes is a grape grower and winemaker who has seen Napa Valley grow into the powerhouse of American wine. With his parents, sister and family, he founded Flora Springs Winery in 1978 and more recently – with his son Nat -- began the smaller, hands-on venture that is Jon Nathaniel Wines. John cut his teeth on production-scale winemaking, but always worried about what was lost with higher volumes, more cases and deals signed with ink in fancy offices instead of with handshakes over the beds of old trucks. Having acquired small vineyard parcels in Rutherford and Carneros, John began growing and making his own more personal wines, in the belief that small, family-owned wineries are a way of life worthy of preserving in Napa Valley. John re-discovered that selling wine isn’t just about moving cases; it’s about getting to know his customers and developing personal relationships that last a lifetime. With Jon Nathaniel, John passes on this tradition to the next generation, his son Nat - a handoff and a gesture of love and faith that is as old as humanity. When he is not “fiddling” with bottles in his cellars or kicking up dust in his vineyards, John can be found telling stories with his devoted family around him. “An old man’s retirement,” he says, although we have yet to see a whole lot of retiring from him. He still lives here in Napa Valley with his wife and lifelong muse, Carrie.
A Napa Valley native, Nat Komes is a second generation winegrower who grew up surrounded by vines, tanks and wine barrels. At Flora Springs, the winery founded by his family in 1978, Nat held every job there was, from floor mopper to tank washer to cellar rat – with a few seasons in the vineyards to boot. After graduating from college – and following the publication of his first volume of poetry, Nighttime Melodies, in 1992 – Nat returned to the winery, eventually working his way up to the role of general manager. But like his father before him, Nat’s training and experience led him not to bigger things but to smaller things, and now he exercises his creativity at Jon Nathaniel Wines, his brainchild and the personal wine project he manages alongside John. Nat brings fresh eyes and perspective to Jon Nathaniel, relishing the challenge of making innovative, boundary-busting wines of which his family, especially his late brother Otto, would be proud. But he is also keenly aware of the lessons learned from his father’s four decades in wine, and he strives to continue his family’s winemaking legacy and capture all that he loves in the bottle. While he knows he may never fill his father’s shoes, he hopes he will eventually earn a place alongside them. Nat lives in Napa with his wife and inspiration, Anne, and their children Charlotte and Matthias.