cheese

Discover Wine Country’s Cheese Trail

What pairs better with wine than cheese? Sonoma Wine Country is also Cheese Country, with a number of artisanal, hand-crafted cheeses being produced throughout the region. If you have an interest in cheese making, there are a number of activities sure to please the most ardent cheese-lover.

Plan a small outing to experience the agricultural side of the region, take a trip along the Cheese Trail, a scenic adventure of pastures and oak-covered hills linking close to 30 farms and creameries. Each stop along the Cheese Trail is unique, with some facilities offering full tours, tastings as well as cheese-making classes for the adventurous. Experience the wide variety of cheese producing livestock, such as goats, cows, sheep and even water buffalo.

As the Cheese Trail covers a fairly vast geographic area, it is best to start with a travel plan based on the downloadable Cheese Trail Map. The map is a great reference, as it breaks down each farm by type of animal used in cheese making as well as by locations offering tour options for cheese making and general farm tours. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to make sure the farms are open to make the most of your outing. And yes, there is an app for that; be sure to download the Cheese Trail app available for your mobile devices.

Cheese 3.0
For those looking for a more hands-on approach to cheese making, reserve your spot at The Cheese Maker class offered by Achadinha Cheese Company, located in Petaluma. Here is a description of the class from their website:

The Cheese Maker class is offered for cheese lovers who really are looking for that once in a lifetime cheese making experience. As soon as the guests arrive they will roll up their sleeves and put on a beautiful hairnet to get their hands wet in the Vat full of curds and whey, while learning how we use the equipment. Then, they will see the cheeses aging in the aging rooms. Then to be treated to a full ranch tour that includes everything from the Milking parlor to the Loafing barn. Naturally there will be plenty of cheese tasting before lunch in our family party room.

Classes are $100 per person, with a 10 person minimum. Check for the monthly date of classes to plan your trip.

Mark your calendars for the weekend of March 18-20, 2016 as the 10th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival returns to Petaluma. This popular weekend event is filled with mouth-watering cheeses, chef demonstrations and pairings, farm tours, educational sessions by a host of knowledgeable, talented chefs, cheese experts, cheesemakers, authors and more.

Whether tasting, touring or learning the craft of making, our region offers a variety of venues for those who love cheese, glorious cheese.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

apples

Sip and Savor Sonoma County Cider

Consider the apple.  No other fruit is so simple yet so full of possibility. Sonoma County is at the heart of the Wine County, but also boasts a climate ripe for producing luscious apples. A handful of small-scale companies are making their mark and ushering in a new era of craft apple cider. As fall gets into full swing, and apple picking season wraps up, tap into the flavors of the season by sipping and savoring Sonoma County cider. Just a short journey from Mayacama are a few fantastic cider companies that are worth seeking out as the weather cools off and crisp evenings roll in.

Ace Cider: Established in 1993, Ace has been credited with helping pioneer the hard cider movement in the U.S. Like all cider, theirs is gluten free and has less calories than beer or wine. Using only the best eating apples for their juice and the top ingredients, their Award-Winning ciders are very pure, clean, and refreshing. Must try cider: Ace Perry Cider. Made from delicious apple and pear juices, this sweet cider is refreshing and light with bright fruit flavor.

Sonoma Cider: Press on. Sharing an entrepreneur’s curiosity and deep passion for beverages, father-son team David and Robert Cordtz set out in 2013 to reinvent the cider category. Together, they make Sonoma Cider anything but run of the mill. Their core series includes apple, pear and bourbon ciders, and they also release Limited Run series. Must try cider: The Anvil. Enjoy the flavors of apple and bourbon with a hint of smoke. Made from organic apples and spiked with a healthy measure of proprietary barrel-proof bourbon flavor, this cider is intense, alive and totally memorable.

Tilted Shed: Respect the craft. Revere the apples. Cider is beautiful! This husband-wife duo Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli started cultivating cider apples in 2011 out of an obsessive love for cider. They have planted 100 varieties of traditional cider apples and perry pears. Must try cider: January Barbecue Smoked Cider. Imagine drinking a brut champagne near a bonfire. This cider is best served in a white wine glass at no colder than 55 degrees to experience its aromatics. Pair it with aged and funky cheeses (e.g. Tumalo Classico, Pennyroyal Boont Corners, Point Reyes Blue).

Devoto Orchards Cider: Back in the ‘70s, Stan and Susan Devoto left Berkeley to plant heirloom apples, as well as flowers and micro-greens, on a family farm in Sebastopol. They decided to start making farmstead cider from the family apples in 2012 and the rest is history. Their lot includes traditional cider and hybrid dessert varieties, as well as heirloom apples like Sebastopol’s famous Gravenstein. Must try cider: Cidre Noir. The Arkansas Black, Black Twig, and Black Jonathan apples make up the backbone of the Noir. The Cidre Noir offers layers of ginger, licorice, and crisp green apple on the palate finished with an elegant tannic structure. This cider is best paired with rich, creamy dishes and local favorite – Cowgirl Creamery’s signature Mt. Tam cheese.

“To make the best cider, your family tree better be…well…an apple tree.” – Jolie Devoto, 2nd Generation Apple Farmer

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.393.1819 (toll free) or 707.569.2950 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.