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.
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.
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