While most of the country is snow-packed, Northern California is enjoying unseasonably beautiful weather this winter (if you could call it winter). Yesterday we hit 80Â° breaking the 71Â° record of 2001. Typically during the months of January and February we get ten inches of rain, but it doesnâ€™t appear we will get anywhere near those levels this year.Â With the rainâ€™s absence, the sun has even tricked the magnolia, cherry, and plumb trees into blossoming early.
On such a nice day, Marilyn and I were unable to stay indoors and headed out to Alexander valley, one of the most beautiful places around and is located just a few minutes away by car. We stopped by the Jimtown store to buy a sandwich (turkey with garbanzo bean chipotle sauce on a french roll) for a picnic. From there we drove about a mile down the road and pulled into Soda Rock winery for a relaxing afternoon. While there, I sketched the road we drove in on. The old oak barrel beside the road is no longer used for making wine but makes a good sign to attract attention to the winery.