Wine Country Blog: innsights to the wine Country

Sonoma County- It's the cheesiest...

Posted by Meilani N on August 26, 2011

So many of our guests here at Farmhouse Inn have a fascination with cheese... must be all those "happy cow" commercials they see- we are getting more and more requests for farm tours and questions on where to go see "cheese making" in action.
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        Happy Cows...




The Artisan Cheese Festival  has scheduled tours of 3 or so of the farms each month now...and some of the local farms and cheesemakers are cooperating by "show and tell" tours.  And even some places where you can learn to make your own- take a look at this course from Relish Culinary Academy coming up in September. 

Artisan Home Cheese Making: Fresh Cheeses (hands-on)karlincheesebookcover
with chef and author Mary Karlin

Sunday, September 11

1:00 - 5:00 PM

Relish Culinary Center, Healdsburg
$104 (includes take-home containers of cheese, culture, strainer & cheesecloth)

Demystify cheesemaking! Chef-Instructor Mary Karlin will share tips from her newly published book Artisan Cheese Making At Home. Guests will learn the important fundamentals of cheesemaking as they make each of these four fresh cheeses from scratch. After tasting made-ahead samples of each cheese and discussing the individual styles and flavors, students will work in small groups to make each of the cheeses. We'll package up the finished preparations to continue culturing at home. In addition to taking home each of the cheeses, guests will also receive cultures, straining basket and cheesecloth to make fresh Chevre or Fromage Blanc at home. This 4-hour class focuses entirely on cheesemaking and will provide a great foundation for aspiring and/or beginner cheesemakers. Chef Mary is a fantastic resource to address cheesemaking questions and concerns.

  • Mascarpone – a rich, creamy, spreadable cow’s milk cheese from Italy
  • Chèvre – the soft, tangy goat’s milk cheese from France
  • Ricotta – the mild and versatile cow’s milk cheese from Italy
  • Panir – a dense, firm cow’s milk cheese from India of my favorite restaurants - Rosso's in Santa Rosa (they also show up with their pizza ovens at the Farmer's Markets and even the Farmhouse Christmas Party- house made die for!! 

One of our local wineries Sonoma Cutrer is having a special "Cheesey" event coming up on Sept. 17th - a day at Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co -  A special tour of the dairy farm, a look at how cheese is made and taste cheese served only at the "Fork" overlooking the beautiful Tomales Bay (Oyster Country too!).

 Pt Reyes Cheese

   Lot's of cheese and Wine from Sonoma Cutrer

   too...not to mention the wonderful view.
   Pt. Reyes Cheese has monthly Farm Tours every

   3rd Wednesday at 2 pm just in case this one 
           doesn't fit into your schedule.

Cowgirl Creamery  -another favorite- with tours both in the Petaluma plant and out at Point Reyes.  Here's a video to give you an idea of the process.

I wouldn't leave the Sonoma County Cheese Trail without mentioning another of my favorites...though they are not presently open for tours...the cheeses from Bellwether Farms is definitely worth seeking out. Both Cow's milk and Sheep's milk cheeses are their specialties but my favorite is their Carmody that we use here at the Farmhouse for our special Cheese plates for the guests!  We also feature some cheeses from Marin French-  though not technically on our burgeoning Sonoma Cheese map (they are really only a little bit south of us) and offer tours just about every day of the week. So we'll let them be on the list...

Also not open necessarily open for tours but worth seeking out are Redwood Hill Farms and Spring Hill Cheese Co.

Cheese, Wine, All the bounty of Sonoma County...We do live in heaven on earth and the cows know it too!

Lovin' cows

In case you have nothing to do this weekend...head out to Bodega...

remember the Bodega Seafood, Art and Wine Festival- music, food and wine all weekend.  See you there!

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Don't us on Facebook for the Farmhouse scoop on the wine country...and Geoff's Wine Tasting tips.

Next week all the excitement of September...Kendall Jackson and the Heirloom Tomato Festival, the Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival, the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, and...and...

Topics: wine country, cheese making, Russian River, Sonoma County, Heirloom seed bank, inn, Farmhouse Inn, Sonoma Cutrer, California

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What would be better than good wine, good company, amazing s’mores, and a cozy fire?  I can’t think of anything else I would want!  Joey and I really enjoyed the nostalgia of roasting and toasting the marshmallows over the fire!  It definitely took me back to my childhood and I had no shame in having two of them!  I couldn’t help it!.continue