Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mustard blooming in Wine Country.... Artesa Winery

Artesa Winery

Mustard blooming in wine country ... Text and Photos © Alice Joyce

I'll return to Spain soon, but today I offer a diversion. Yesterday, I toured one of the most beautiful and dramatic settings in Northern California wine country - the Carneros region. Only 30 minutes or so from my home, the vineyards are glorious on a winter day when the mustard is blooming. You'll find a perfect spot to sip a glass of bubbly at the architecturally intriguing, Artesa Winery.

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.

I opt for the terrace to enjoy a perfect, albeit, brief afternoon get-away. And yes, there is a connection between Artesa and Spain, the current theme running through my blog. Artesa began as Cordoniu Napa in 1991, in association with Spain's Cordoniu wine cellars; founded in the mid-16th century. Thus the sparkling - methode champenoise - wine I love so much.

More recently, Artesa has been crafting fine Merlot, for all red wine lovers to enjoy. Next time you're in wine country, seek out this special place, tucked away off Dealy Lane on Henry Road.


  1. Another take-me-back post! I used to live in the Bay Area, for many years, and I miss it so much and also our occasional trips north to sip wine and poke around Napa, Sonoma, the Anderson Valley, etc. Love the mustard, that's really dramatic!

  2. Sounds lovely. I love northern California wine country, but also Provence.