Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cheese Country Tours ~ We'll Show You the Whey!

Achadinha's "Capricious"  Cheese
Wheels of Capricious in Aging Cave
When the California Artisan Cheese Festival offered farmstead and artisan cheesemaking tours for the first time in 2011, they sold out within a few days. As a result, Festival founder, Lynne Devereux, has continued Cheese Country Tours throughout the summer and I was able to attend the first one, called “We’ll Show You the Whey”, on July 7th.

Like those offered during the Festival, this was sold-out, so heed the advice on the website about booking early!  Details about upcoming tours can be found on this Cheese Country Tours link.

Three milk cows feeding at McClelland Dairy
Organic milk in the making at McClelland
Touring guests met at the Sheraton Sonoma County Hotel in Petaluma, site of the annual California Artisan Cheese Festival, then traveled in a Pure Luxury Transportation coach to three locations: McClelland’s Dairy, Cowgirl Creamery, and the Pacheco Family Dairy which produces Achadinha Goat Cheese and where we all enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Della Fattoria in Petaluma.

In addition to tasting outstanding dairy products at their source, the tour was an opportunity for learning that dairy farming and cheesemaking are cultures with a long history of hard work, routinely surviving on large leaps of faith. I, along with other tour members, came away with an awakened sense of gratitude for both the products and the people who make them. See earlier posts or use these links (McClelland Dairy, Cowgirl Creamery, Achadinha Goat Cheese) for highlights of the locations we visited.  And book your Cheese Country Tour before they're sold out!