Mustard Bloom

It's Napa Valley's Most Mustardful Season

The pretty-as-a-picture yellow flowers are popping up around wine country.

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FINDING THE MUSTARD? You only need to look around the shelves inside the refrigerator door, where you will likely find a jar of the grainy tangy spreadable stuff behind the capers and ketchup. Finding the mustard flowers of late winter? Keep the fridge door closed and plan a trip to Napa Valley, where yellow flowers are springing up in vineyards and elsewhere. It can be an unforgettable sight, finding a spread of sunshine, in flower form, covering an area you might normally associate with grapes. And while wildflowers such as California poppies capture the fancies of flower lovers around Southern California and some inland areas, mustard flowers are one of the wilder parts of the pre-spring stretch around this slice of wine country.

SONOMA COUNTY, too, finds itself in mustard-y marvels as March approaches, and Sonoma County Tourism has some suggestions as to where to look for the bigger blooms. The area's vineyards are a great bet, in both Sonoma and Napa Valleys, though you might come across a sudden spray of sunny yellow by some out-of-the-way roadside. The Napa Valley Wine Train gives a bit of interesting background on this non-native grower, one that is valued for how it can help "control rain flow" near those much-valued vines. There's plenty to do around wine country in the spring, too, a time of year that is a bit more chill, as compared to the bustle of summertime, harvest, and the holidays.

ADMIRING ALL OF THE WILDFLOWERS... you can this spring? Mustard your courage and head out onto a fab wine country adventure, one that includes the admiring of mustard flowers.

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