1. Take one of the suggested driving tours of various regions listed below (scroll all the way to the bottom of the list on the left).
2. Create your own tour by sorting cheesemakers (using the drop-down menus above) by "Region," and then by "Open to the Public." This will list all the locations regularly open (and usually with a retail shop). Once the list comes up, then click the blue bar beneath the name to "Pin to Itinerary." Once you have your list, click the "Show Itinerary" at the top left of your screen. If you want to eliminate one, just click the "x" by the name of the cheesemaker on the list you've created. From there, you can print or download a map of your itinerary.
3. Finally, if you'd like take a farm or cheesemaker tour, click to sort first by "Region" and then by "Appointment Only" OR click the "Tours" button. Make sure to read the information on each cheesemaker's listing for details and how to sign up.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to check for regular visiting hours and plan to schedule appointments and tours well in advance of your visit.
Take the map on the road by visiting this website on your smart phone or tablet!
In 1955, William Pacheco started dairying with a herd of cows in Bodega Bay. The Pacheco family moved to Petaluma in 1969, and in 1997 Jim and Donna Pacheco and their 4 children sold their cows and switched to goats and began making cheese. They still have Jersey cows and a myriad of other farm […]
Soyoung Scanlon – dairy scientist, music lover, and former biochemist – gives musical names to her creamery and her cheeses. Her products are designed to reveal the essence of the terroir, or microclimate, in which the milk and cheese are produced.
Two best friends from Italy came to America in 2009 to make Italian cheeses here. They make fresh mozzarella in water.
Established in 1970, Ariza is the oldest artisan Mexican cheesemaker in Southern California. The company was recently purchased by 4 of its employees.
Established in 1987 and one of the first producing hand crafted Italian-style Mozzarella, Fior di Latte (or Fresh Mozzarella in water), in America. All their cheeses are certified kosher.
Bellwether Farms is an artisan cheese company located in the heart of Sonoma County. Family owned and operated by the Callahans, the creamery produces some of the best sheep and cow milk cheeses in the world. Bellwether Farms began milking their sheep and producing hand-crafted cheeses in 1990, making them one of the first in […]
Bleating Heart was founded in 2009 by cheesemaker Seana Doughty, a southern CA native who dreamed of becoming a cheesemaker after quitting a desk job to do a stint working as a cheesemonger at Venissimo cheese shop in San Diego. Bleating Heart has grown leaps and bounds since 2009, making award-winning sheep milk cheese, and […]
Salmon family owned Bodega Goat Cheese has been in operation for over twenty years. The art of cheese making has been passed down from one generation to another. Jaime Salmon, the family patriarch made cheese for thirty years in his native Peru. Javier, the eldest son, learned cheese making as a young boy on the […]
Bohemian Creamery, owned by Lisa Gottreich, lies just a mile outside downtown Sebastopol California on a hilltop overlooking the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the Mayacama mountains and their herd of Alpine dairy goats. It is here that the spring clover enriches the goats’ milk, the wild blue rye molds powder the natural rind cheeses and the salty marine […]
Bravo Farms began as a dairy farm in 1979, just north of Visalia, CA. In 1990 Bill and his wife Patt, explored cheese production. Their farmstead cheese facility went into operation in 1995 becoming the first farmstead operation to produce cheddar cheese on the farm, in California, or anywhere west of the Alleghenies. In 2007, […]
Benjamin Burroughs came to California from Illinois to find his future in the milk business. One hundred years and five generations later, Burroughs Family Farms is a family effort of Burroughs siblings working together to offer hand raised and sustainably grown products. The farm rests on the rolling hills below the majestic Half Dome of Yosemite […]
Makers of Italian and Mexican style cheeses. In 1973, the de Cardenas family, new immigrants from Mexico saw the opportunity to create a product that was not yet available in the Los Angeles marketplace — queso fresco. They then founded the company and named it “Cacique”. In Latin America, the name signifies the chief of a tribe, the ultimate […]
Part of the largest dairy science program in the country, Cal Poly Creamery has been making cheese and other dairy products for students, alumni, and the community since 1903. The Creamery is both a teaching laboratory and a manufacturing plant licensed and inspected by the State of California for commercial production of dairy products. Cal Poly […]
Reggie Jones has worked in the dairy industry for 25 years. His career started in 1991 working in a quality laboratory for a cheese company. From there, he gained experience in all aspects of the dairy industry, from whey refining to bacteria culture sales. Reggie met his wife Kellie met while attending high school in Modesto, […]
Clover Sonoma (previously named “Clover Stornetta”) sources fresh milk from a select group of Clover’s small family farms along the Northern California coast. Clover has roots in the North Coast dairy industry reaching back to the 1890’s and can be recognized by their always-fun Clo billboards. Clover was the first dairy in the nation to earn […]
Sue Conley and Peggy Smith took a hippie trip to San Francisco in 1976 after finishing degrees at the University of Tennessee. Both established careers in some of San Francisco’s most famous kitchens: Peggy spending 17 years at Chez Panisse, and Sue co-owning Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley. In the early 1990s they launched Tomales […]
The seeds of Cypress Grove were sown in the 1970s when Mary Keehn, a single mother of four daughters living in Humboldt County, began looking for a healthy source of milk for her family. As luck would have it, a neighbor had two goats. Possessing a background in biology, Mary’s interest turned to breeding her […]
From a small farm in Bulgaria to a creamery in Jalisco, Mexico. Pablo Guerra learned the art of cheesemaking from his father. Together with his wife, Margarita, who was born on a dairy farm in Bulgaria, they bring you a melding of cultures, reflected in their artisan cheese!
Cheesemaker Mimmo Bruno, raised in Puglia Italy, was the first artisan in the United States to recreate Burrata, a cream-filled fresh mozzarella. Today, he handcrafts the Italian delicacy at his family-owned plant, Di Stefano Cheese in Pomona, California. Derived from the Italian word for butter, Burrata (pronounced boor-AH-tah) is known for its creamy, soft center […]
One of only two water buffalo dairies in California. Andrew and Curtis have been making gelato for several years with milk from their herd. They recently began making bufalo mozzarella. Currently their cheese is only available to restaurants. (but….psst…go find their gelato…it’s amazing!)
Drake Family Farms cheeses (fresh chèvre and aged raw goat cheese) are “farmstead” (i.e. made on the farm with milk exclusively from the farm’s own animals). Dan Drake is a veterinarian who has been overseeing the health of the Drake Family Farms goat herd for the past 26 years. Dan brought 143 goats from the farm […]
Ewenity supports the ideal, bringing together a history of raising livestock and experience in animal production. Andrea Mongini is a respected practicing veterinarian, consulting with Cow, Goat and Sheep clients throughout the west coast. She attended UC Davis where she earned a Masters in Nutrition and a DVM degree.
In the Village of Larale, on the island of Sao Jorge (in the Azores, a group of nine islands, which are approximately 800-900 miles west of Portugal), the widow Isabel Fagundes made a living for herself and six children by buying milk from the local dairymen and making cheese. The cheese was exported to Portugal and sold […]
The Fiscalini family, who trace their roots to Switzerland, came to America in the late 1800s and have been dairying ever since. Today they make award-winning cheeses with milk from their 100-year old family farm.
Started by Giovanni Peluso in 1919,Franklin Peluso, a third-generation cheesemaker, is making his grandfather’s recipe, passed down to his father and then to Franklin. Franklin’s Teleme, his signature cheese, is soft and silky and coated in rice flour.
The 100 milking ewes at Monkeyflower Ranch which produce the milk for Garden Variety Cheese are fed on fresh pasture, alfalfa hay and organic brewer’s grain from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. Each ewe is named after a garden flower and treated with love and respect. The dairy sheep only produce milk from January to June every year, and spend […]
Gioia makes wonderful fresh Italian cheeses. Vito Girardi, owner, is a third-generation cheesemaker from the area Apulia in Italy where burrata comes from. His grandfather was one of the first makers of burrata. Burrata is a classic Italian “pasta filata” cheese that is made by enclosing a center of soft, silky curd in a small sac […]
Harley Farms is a restored 1910 dairy farm, with 200 alpine goats on nine acres of pasture in Pescadero, California. The farm grew from six pet goats to today’s herd, with their delicious, critically-acclaimed cheese. In 2011 they purchased the neighboring fields with an historic barn, a hidden orchard and an overgrown garden which is being restored. The […]
Joe and Missy Adiego began raising sheep for milk in 2010 and opened their farmstead creamery in 2014. At first they bottled sheep milk in glass bottles (a first) and later began making butter and ice cream. They’ve recently begun making small batches of sheep milk feta. Every family member has a special niche on […]
Founded in 1984, Hilmar annually produces more cheese and whey from one site than any other manufacturer in the world, and employs more than 1,200 people. The company produces more than 21 million pounds of milk (9.5 million liters) of milk each day and receives milk from more than 230 dairies, producing more than 2.4 million pounds of cheese each day. Much of their cheese is […]
This small wooded dairy goat farm in the Sierra foothills near the original Sutter’s Mill and the American River, is run by Charley, his girlfriend MaryLisa and Charley’s trusty dog. All the goats (about 40 of them) are named. Charley makes chèvre and feta year-round (except in December when he tries to take a short break while the goats are […]
What began as a small farm, now makes cheese for around the world, including Asia and Africa. Their Jacks, Cheddars and Mozzarella can be found in both small and large chain grocery stores.
Makers of Mediterranean, Hispanic, Indian, Armenian, Russian and European-style cheeses since 1990 in the United States. Currently selling cheeses under 5 brand names, including Karoun, Arz, Queso Del Valle, Gopi and Central Valley Creamery in the U.S. and around the world.
Makers of cottage cheese and sour cream. Owned by Kraft.
Laura Chenel’s is the recognized “pioneer” of American goat cheese production. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s she established the prototype that allowed numerous new goat cheese makers to flourish. Starting with fresh goat cheese made on a small Sebastopol farm to its current home in the new state-of-the-art creamery in Sonoma County’s Carneros region, […]
Under new ownership, Loleta Cheese has added a Grilled Cheese and Espresso bar to the cheese factory. You can watch cheesemaking through the window, get a taste of cheese, purchase items, then picnic in the sweet garden adjacent to their shop and creamery. Loleta makes over 30 types of cheese, mainly flavored cheddars and jacks, along the north […]
Krista and Andrew farm and make cheese on their farmstead dairy using heritage cows that live outside year-round. They produce fresh cheese and butter, striving for the highest animal welfare and low-stress milking environment. The calves live with their mothers and are milked only once daily.
Makers of Mexican cheeses, including Queso Fresco and Crema, under the Los Altos and La Cubeta brands since 1988.
As the longest continually-operating cheese company in America, Marin French Cheese has been handcrafting traditional and original soft-ripened cheeses for over 150 years. Our small-batch cheeses are made with traditional cultures and all natural milk sourced from local dairies within 20 miles from the creamery. Stop in to sample and purchase award-winning cheeses, grab a […]
Makers of Mexican-style cheeses under the following brand names: El Mexicano, Rancho Grande, Vaquero, Cinco Volcanes and El Centroamericano.
Joe and Mary Matos grew up on the lush volcanic island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores. It happens to be an island that is noted for its delicious cheeses. When Joe and Mary relocated to Santa Rosa in the 1970s, they carried the recipe for their homeland’s native cheese with them. St. George — […]
Over 100 years ago, 17-year-old Fredolino Lafranchi left his home in Maggia, Switzerland, to come to America with the dream of owning and operating his own dairy. He and his wife, Zelma, made their home on a 1,150 acre ranch in Nicasio in northern California and established the Lafranchi Dairy. Fredolino’s son, Will, later made […]
The Nicolau Family has been dairy farming in Stanislaus County since the early 1900’s when Jose Nicolau left the small island of Flores in the Azores to seek a better life. With him he brought a passion for Family, Farming, and Food, as did all Portugese immigrants.Eventually he would establish his dairy farm in the […]
Mark and Deneane Ashcraft raise their herd of award-winning dairy goats on sixty acres of lush organic fields in the northern portion of the Sacramento Valley. A passionate dairywoman, cheesemaker, farmer and animal welfare advocate, Deneane began breeding and raising her dairy goats in 1990. With her herd of many varied breeds, she has won […]
Dutch immigrants Walter and Lenneke Bulk moved from the Netherlands to the United States in 1979. Walter left the family farm in the Haarlemmermeer for this older brother to manage and ventured to California for better opportunity. Today, the two generations run the shop with take out food, picnic area and small petting “zoo.” Make […]
In the late 1990s the McAfee family made the decision to farm the entire property that is now the green pastures for Organic Pastures Dairy. Cows are milked in the pasture using a mobile milk barn. The farm became organic in early 2000.
Paul Schmidt is a third generation dairyman. He was raised in Elk Grove, CA on a dairy that his father managed. Paul began raising and showing cows through 4-H when he was in elementary school. He purchased his first cows and rented land while still in high school. Before Paul graduated from high school, the […]
In 1970 Ray and June Gaddis established Pacific Cheese Company, the West Coast’s first broadline cheese supplier. They were instrumental in the expansion of the California cheese industry and laid the groundwork for the company’s growth into one of the country’s leading suppliers of cheeses. Today, their son Steve Gaddis runs the company. The make […]
Makers of gelato and cheese! What a combo. Marco studied in Italy for several years, making gelato, and has now expanded to making cheese, along with his partner Paul.
In 1996 Tim Pedrozo, a third generation dairy farmer, and his wife Jill, bought a small herd of Holstein and Jersey cows. Their hope was to allow their animals to graze outdoors on the variety of grasses that grew in their pastures. Over the next two years, it became clear that sustaining a farm on […]
Started by Giovanni Peluso in 1919 in Los Banos, California, Peluso Cheese continues to hand-make their signature Teleme – an original style that gets creamier with time, its rind dusted with rice flour – as well as fresh Mexican and Central American cheeses. Peluso’s cheeses include Tomales Bay Teleme Cheese, Mexican cheeses: Cotija, Queso Fresco, […]
Pennyroyal Farm produces handcrafted cheese exclusively from goats and sheep that are raised on their own family farm. Pampered animals munch on wild grasses and pennyroyal mint that blanket their sixty-six acre farmstead and vineyard in Boonville, California. The milk is transformed into fresh and aged cheeses just steps from the animals’ pastures. Pennyroyal integrates animal husbandry with viticulture to avoid many […]
The family’s journey started in 1938 when Grandfather Waldo Giacomini moved his family to Point Reyes, where Bob, his son, was raised. In 1959 with his new bride Dean, Bob purchased the dairy to sell milk to the local creamery. He had a dream to make cheese. In the late 90s, their four daughters (Karen, Diana, Lynn and Jill) […]
Audrey and Craig Ramini began with 5 water buffalo, a shoe string budget and a big dream. The first 4 years were spent , building relationships with the buffalo and learning to make the cheese. They rented a small farm and pasture, renovated the dairy and designed a farmstead creamery. By 2012 they were successfully selling out of all the […]
Since 1968, when her parents founded their goat dairy farm in Sonoma County, California Jennifer Bice has been intimately involved in raising goats, milking goats and making goat cheese. In 1978, at the tender age of twenty-three, Jennifer Bice took over the goat farm from her parents. Over time, her passionate interest in dairy goats […]
Brothers Richard, Fred and John Rumiano emigrated to the United States from Italy and are known for their development of Dry Jack cheese, especially one rubbed with a coating of black pepper dust, cocoa powder and oil. Rumiano’s cheese production takes place in Crescent City, getting its milk from dairies in nearby Humboldt and Del […]
Established in 1944, Schoch Dairy is located on the famed El Camino Real in the fertile Salinas Valley. The Schoch Brothers originally emmigrated from Switzerland and found their way to California. Today, the 2nd and 3rd generation run the dairy, and it’s one of only two dairies remaining in Monterey County. It’s also the only […]
Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese and their Summer Breeze Dairy are Animal Welfare Approved. Shamrock is a family-owned, farmstead cheese producer, in business as a dairy since 1972 and a creamery since 1983. Formerly known as the award-winning Carmel Valley Chevre, they now produce a soft chevre in seven flavors, Feta, Tome du Corbier, Ashed Tomette, Redwood […]
Sierra Cheese specializes in Italian cheeses, and several years ago added Hispanic cheeses to their line. The company produces a variety of Italian and Hispanic styles for both the institutional and retail markets. The Italian line includes hand packed Ricotta, Armenian style String Cheese, and several varieties of Mozzarella. The Hispanic line includes Oaxaca , Oaxaca […]
Sierra Nevada Cheese Company was founded in 1997 by Ben Gregersen and John Dundon. Ben and John discovered they had a common interest in making cheeses using traditional methods, while working together in the Gregersen’s Family Creamery, Foothill Home Dairy, a Sacramento Landmark for over 40 years. At first, Ben and John brought their cheeses to […]
In 1990, Amy Wend and a partner set out to create a unique facility in the Napa Valley. They began by cultivating extensive organic gardens and selling the fresh produce at local farmers’ markets. With the help of her herd master, Amy began acquiring a small herd of goats, one of whom was Emily, who […]
Rich, organic 100% Jersey Milk is the secret to Larry Peter’s cheese. Larry raises his Jerseys on a farm just on the outskirts of Petaluma. The Petaluma Creamery, where Spring Hill Cheese is made, is the largest creamery in the area. Taking a tour (appointments required) is fascinating. At the creamery, where the cheese is made, […]
Stepladder Creamery is a small farmstead artisan goat dairy and creamery situated along San Simeon Creek in Cambria, California. They specialize in traditionally crafting small-scale, handmade cheeses with milk exclusively from their pasture-raised herd of very well-loved Lamancha goats.
Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese was started in December 2015 by Rick and Ansally Stuyt. Ansally was born in the Netherlands and her parent’s immigrated to the United States in 1961. Her parents bought the dairy that she and Rick now own and operate in 1965. Rick grew up in the Netherlands and he immigrated to […]
David Jablons and Tamara Hicks purchased Toluma Farm in 2003, restored the land, and protected it with an agricultural conservation easement. They began milking 200 goats in 2007, sheep in 2013 and produce goat and mixed-milk cheeses since 2012.
In the late 90’s, Bonnie DeBernardi purchased two Nubian goats for her grandchildren to play with and from there a new business was created. Not unfamiliar to the dairy business, Don and Bonnie DeBernardi have been raising and milking Holstein dairy cows since 1968, however, these goats served as the beginning of a new venture […]
Five generations of the Bianchi/Grossi family have raised dairy cows on this prime farmland in Sonoma County. Karen Bianchi Moreda and her son Joe now make Swiss-Italian-style cheese from the milk of their Certified Human Raised and Handled Jersey herd.
The Vella family has made cheese in a stonewalled building on the historic Sonoma square since the company’s founding in 1931 by Gaetano Vella. The cultures, the care, and the personal hands-on techniques are the same as they were then. Since 1931, Vella Cheese has been a companion to the finest foods in the world. […]
A mini-Knotts Berry Farm with antiques and junktiques, animals and a shop full of goodies, picnic tables. Vintage Cheese makes on average 15 to 20 types of cheese, producing up to 400,000 pounds a year. They’ve branched out to include cheese made from goat and sheep milk, yet another element that makes Vintage Cheese unique. […]
Seasonal products made by hand by husband & wife team, Joel and Carleen, include cheese, lamb, wool, and soap. Their sustainable farming practices include rotational grazing, green building, water re-use from the creamery and some solar. They are in the middle of a move and under construction. They plan to have tours by appointment in 2017.
Winters Cheese Co. was founded by Daniel Turkovich who learned to make cheese while in college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Sacha Laurin is now the cheesemaker. A tasting room is located in downtown Winters, CA.
Keith Adams and Rob Hunter, college friends who reconnected, have started a new venture in the Sebastopol Barlow. Starting out with fresh curds, they soon will release their Stilton-style blue and a Clothbound Cheddar. Stop by their creamery and retail shop that carries not only their cheese, but the best of the local cheeses and […]
Petaluma to Sebastopol to Sonoma / 50 miles
Pescadero / miles
Modesto to Lemoore / 130 miles
Novato to Nicasio to Pt Reyes Station / 15 miles
Boonville to Crescent City / 360 miles
South El Monte / 10 miles
Garden Valley / miles