February in Northern California Wine Country .. Artesa Winery
I didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of the mustard bloom until I’d been living in the Bay Area for a while. Now, as winter draws to a close, signs of spring appear in alleyways and along side streets where wild plantings of flowering quince emerge along with cherry and plum trees planted by birds or perhaps by the wind.
The Carneros region is one of my favorite areas in Northern California Wine Country. The vineyards are glorious on a winter day, as all roads seem to be aglow with the bright yellow mustard flowers.
Architecturally intriguing Artesa Winery is a perfect spot to raise a glass. Situated atop a knoll, it’s a low, broad structure built into the hillside; a masterpiece of design with smoky quartz windows, and a slanted grass-blanketed facade planted with native grasses. Approached via a stairway flanked by fountains, reflecting pool and narrow channel, the music of moving water is ever-present as you take in the stunning views. The interior – cool and contemporary – features a central courtyard and sculpture exhibition.