Give the gift of cheese for the Holidays!

California cheesemakers have great gifts for the holidays. Here’s a list of them. Get your orders in before Christmas!

Cheese Trail Home Delivery

New for the holidays in 2021, the Cheese Trail has begun offering curated collections of farmstead cheeses and local delicacies, supporting California’s cheesemakers, farmers, and artisan producers. $69-$99. Free delivery in California, +$20 to all other states (excluding AK & HI). Shop our collections.

Central Coast Creamery – Holiday Gift Box

This selection features five of our cheeses with accompaniments:

  • Holey Cow
  • Seascape
  • Ewereka
  • Ewenique
  • Dream Weaver
  • Rustic Bakery Olive Oil Sel Gris Flatbread Crackers
  • Rustic Bakery Artisan Crisps
  • Marcona Almonds
  • Lavender Plum Jam
  • Angel’s Soppressata Salami
  • Olli wine infused Salami
  • ChocoHigos chocolate covered fig

Cowgirl Creamery – A Perfect Gift

Includes:

Mt. Tam
Cowgirl Creamery • Petaluma, CA
As a respectful nod to the majestic beauty of Mt Tamalpais, located a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, Cowgirl Creamery named its signature cheese Mt Tam. Creamy and elegant, Mt Tam coats your tongue with a rich, buttery flavor that carries an earthy hint of white mushrooms. The triple-cream Mt Tam is made from unblended, organic, single-herd milk from the Straus Family Creamery. (8 oz)

Artisan Crisps
Rustic Bakery • Petaluma, CA
Rustic Bakery provides these sweet and crunchy crisps made with simple, high-quality ingredients–a fabulous accompaniment to artisan cheese. (5 oz)

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks book
Between them, Cowgirl co-founders Sue Conley and Peggy Smith spent decades in the Bay Area’s most loved and respected restaurants. Cowgirl Creamery Cooks collects 75 of their favorite recipes for cooking with cheese, as well as their vast accumulated wisdom about tasting, buying, serving, and appreciating all kinds of cheese. More than 60 photographs of delicious cheeses, finished dishes, and the rolling hills of coastal California from celebrated Canal House photographers Hirsheimer & Hamilton narrate the story of the Cowgirls, the rise of the organic dairy movement, and the enjoyment of good cheese.

Cypress Grove – The Entertainer

Wow your guests with this impressive set that includes just about everything you need to get the party started. This set includes eight cheeses plus jam, chocolate, and flatbread crackers from three incredible Northern California specialty food artisans. Mango Habanero and Raspberry Habanero jams .

Marin French Cheese – Marin Collection

Treat yourself or send a party in a basket  for the beautiful experience of Marin County’s finest. This collection is a sampler of our unique cheeses and two  of Marin’s finest artisan accompaniments. 

Includes 3 8-ounce wheels (2015 ACS Winner Traditional Brie, Triple Creme Brie and Camembert) , 3 4-ounce wheels (Petite Breakfast, Petite Supreme and Petite Truffle), our local honey (Marin French Cheese Honey by Bonnie Bee — harvested on our creamery ranch!), Jamnation Can You Fig It fig jam handcrafted in San Francisco and our favorite California spreader knife.

Nicasio Valley Cheese Company – Gold Ribbon Gift Box

Foggy Morning, San Geronimo, Nicasio Reserve

Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Company – Holiday Gift Box

Gift Pack Contents:
1lb of your choice of Northern Gold Flavor + 1lb of our award winning Black Butte Reserve

Pennyroyal Farm – Holiday Cheese Sampler

When you’re planning a get-together and need a festive board or a special delight in seasonality, this selection of six farmstead cheeses—all handmade in small batches at the farm—will bring a unique taste of place to the table! Includes our fresh chèvre Laychee, a seasonal Laychee*, a round of Velvet Sister and wedges of our raw, aged Boont Corners.

Petaluma Creamery – Holiday Gifts

Assorted Petaluma Creamery favorites

Point Reyes Farmstead Creamery – Taste of Point Reyes

West Marin expressed in farm fresh cheese.

  • 6 oz. Original Blue
  • 6 oz. Bay Blue
  • 6 oz. Toma
  • 8 oz. Aged Gouda
  • 2 oz. Bonnie Bee Honey
  • Wooden Honey Dipper
  • Rustic Bakery Sel Gris Flatbread Bites
  • Metal Logo Cheese Knife
  • Reusable PRFC logo cooler (not shown in photo)

Stuyt Dairy Cheese – Taste of Escalon

– 6 oz. Mild Gouda Cheese
 – 6 oz. Bacon Gouda Cheese
 – 6 oz. Garlic Herb Gouda Cheese
 – 6 oz. Jalapeno Gouda Cheese
 – Stuyt Dairy Cheese Slicer
 – 8×6 Wooden Cutting Board 

Tomales Farmstead Creamery

Limited Edition Holiday Cheeses at local farmers markets

Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery – Complete Farmhouse Collection

Includes the following cheeses:

x 1  — Highway One (8oz)
x 1  — Estero Gold (8oz)
x 1  — Reserve Estero Gold (6.5oz)
x 1  — Grazin’ Girl
x 1  — Rustic Bakery- Organic Sourdough Flat Bread Bites
x 1  — McEvoy Ranch- Tuscan Evoy Olives

California Now Podcast – Cheese Vacations

Our founder Vivien Straus joins host Soterios Johnson, veteran radio journalist and former host of NPR’s Morning Edition, on the latest episode of the California Now Podcast.

Episode Info

A Trio of Interviews beginning with Soterios talking with Ryan Friesen, head distiller at the Blinking Owl distillery in Santa Ana. Friesen is also the vice president of the California Distiller’s Guild and has no shortage of recommendations for the adventurous imbiber.

Listen to the podcast down below. Vivien comes in at around the 12:53 mark. Enjoy!

Johnson is next joined by California Cheese Trail founder Vivien Straus. This self-described “cheese girl” grew up on the West Coast’s first organic dairy farm, and has a lot to say about the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of a California creamery.

Finally, Johnson chats with Lucas Kwan Peterson, host of the Los Angeles Times’ new video series, Off Menu, which chronicles his culinary explorations of Southern California—particularly the rich Asian culinary scene he discovered there.

Cowgirl Creamery’s Hop Along

Seasonal Cheeses

Ah the holidays are here. That also means our favorite seasonal cheeses are back!

Cowgirl Creamery’s seasonal Devil’s Gulch

Cowgirl Creamery’s winter seasonal cheese, Devil’s Gulch, starts with organic Holstein milk from John and Karen Taylor’s Bivalve Dairy. The rich, bloomy rind wheels are dusted with a mixture of sweet and spicy ground heirloom peppers from Allstar Organics.

Flavor notes: Bright, sweet spice tempered by the rich creaminess of the paste

Devil’s Gulch is named for a narrow ravine carved along the base of Mt. Barnaby, just down the road from the Allstar Organic Farm in Marin County.

You can order Devil’s Gulch in one of Cowgirl Creamery’s cheese collections and at your local cheese shop.

Laura Chenel’s Cranberry Medallion

Here we have a limited-edition cheese made with fresh goat milk, diced cranberries and a touch of cinnamon.

Enjoy the combination of sweet-tart cranberries and tangy fresh goat cheese all season long crumbled over an autumn salad, in a sandwich, or paired with dried fruit, candied nuts, charcuterie and celebratory libations.

Find this cheese at your local cheese shop!

Central Coast Creamery’s New Shop in Santa Cruz

Come check out the cheesiest new spot in Santa Cruz, California.

Photos – Central Coast Creamery

Santa Cruz is known for it’s scenic coastal views, surf spots and of course its famous boardwalk. Now you can find some of California’s best cheese in town. Last month, Central Coast Creamery opened its fantastic shop in Abbott Square Market.

There you can find 100% domestic cheeses. Apart from Central Coast Creameries popular cheeses, you’ll find Oakdale Cheese, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, Cascadia Creamery, Valley Ford Creamery, Nicasio Valley Creamery, Jasper Hill Farm, Cowgirl Creamery, Beehive Cheese, Bellwether Farms and Farmgirl Creamery.

You’ll also find sheep milk and cow milk ice cream from Negranti Creamery.

To celebrate their one month anniversary, they just recently launched their delectable grilled cheese menu.

Whether you’re heading to Santa Cruz to hit the waves or to play some carnival games at the Boardwalk, stop by Central Coast Creamery at Abbott Square Market to round up your trip.

Central Coast Creamery, Abbott Square Market

725 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 535-8079

Grateful to our Community

Our hearts go out to all those this week affected by the California fires.

It’s always heart-warming to see community to come out to support each other; from opening homes to evacuees, to finding room for livestock (yes!) and feeding those who are hungry.

We are grateful to the firefighters and all that helped during this time. As of Thursday, the Kincaide Fire was 60% contained. May Southern CA be on the mend soon as well.

Support local businesses that were affected by the fires as much as you can! Many of them had to stop operations for a period of time.

Cheese & Wine Ice Cream

Find Wine & Cheese Ice Cream in Humphry Slocombe shops starting Nov. 4 – Nov. 30

Sonoma County, CA (Oct. 15, 2019) — Celebrate two of NorCal’s favorite flavors when California’s original goat cheese creamery teams up with another California creamery known for its outrageous ice cream flavors and creative collaborations. Sonoma goat cheese producer Laura Chenel and celebrated sparkling wine producer Domaine Carneros join Humphry Slocombe to launch an exclusive new flavor for the San Francisco ice creamery’s November edition of the 2019 Classic Cocktail Series.

Humphry Slocombe Co-Founder Jake Godby brings his unorthodox ice cream alchemy to Wine & Cheese Ice Cream. The flavor is a part of a year-long boozy series showcasing special flavors inspired by classic cocktails.  This creation features Laura Chenel Original Chef’s Chevre® ice cream with swirls of Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir sorbet mixed in — a combination that will transport you to wine country.  This is the first flavor collaboration with Laura Chenel and the third flavor collaboration with Domaine Carneros, the others being Cherry Fizz in 2018 and Rosé all Day Sorbet in 2017.

Laura Chenel Original Chef’s Chevre is the smooth, creamy go-to goat cheese for chefs nationwide. Handcrafted with fresh goat milk from family-owned farms in the American West and boasting better digestibility than cow’s milk cheese, Laura Chenel Chef’s Chevre has the classic tangy flavor of fresh goat cheese with a spreadable texture perfect for melting into sauces and whipping into cheesecake or — in this case — ice cream.

Iconic, irreverent and fearless when it comes to flavor development, Humphry Slocombe is famous for churning out unusual and creative flavor collaborations with high-profile brands such as Emmy-winning show Queer Eye (Cookies + Graham); Virgin Atlantic (Butter by Moonlight with brown butter and blueberry glaze); San Francisco Brewing Co. (Dynasty Stout); and Chef Melissa King and Whole Foods Market (Mango Mojito). Its signature (and enduringly popular) flavor, Secret Breakfast, features bourbon ice cream with cornflakes.

Laura Chenel CEO Eric Barthome says his company is excited to collaborate with two complementary top-quality Northern California brands doing something fun and unusual with products that symbolize the exceptional character of the Bay Area.

“Wine & Cheese Ice Cream celebrates the Bay Area’s terroir and craft with iconic Laura Chenel goat cheese from Sonoma County and the Carneros[1] based Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir which are sure to be an outstanding combination with Humphry Slocombe’s expertise,” says Barthome.

“With all respect to peanut butter and chocolate, I think wine and cheese is the original ‘two great tastes that taste great together’ and that in the form of ice cream is unique and delicious,” says Jake Godby, co-founder and chef at Humphry Slocombe.

“I am a huge fan of dessert, and working with Humphry Slocombe over the years has been a great excuse to indulge my weakness and share it with our loyal fans,” states Eileen Crane, CEO of Domaine Carneros.   “I’m particularly excited about the daring quality of this new flavor.  We grow multiple clones of Pinot Noir on all our single vineyards and this promises to be a sheer delight.”

Starting Nov. 4, Wine & Cheese Ice Cream is available by the scoop and hand-packed pints at all Humphry Slocombe scoop shops including the Ferry Building and Mission District shops in San Francisco, The Hive in Oakland and the College Avenue shop in Berkeley. Look for it by the pint at the Domaine Carneros chateau. Available online at GoldBelly.  

About Laura Chenel

Laura Chenel introduced a new chapter in American cheese in 1979 when she started making farmstead goat cheese with milk from her own goats using techniques she learned in France. 

Today, Laura Chenel still embodies its founding namesake’s pioneering spirit as a leading producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses and goat yogurts crafted with fresh goat’s milk from family-owned farms in California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, Laura Chenel is the first creamery in the U.S. to be awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification and its commitment to sustainable practices, including solar energy and recycling, is helping preserve the terroir for generations to come. 

For more information, visit us at LauraChenel.com or follow along on Instagram or Facebook @LauraChenel

About Humphry Slocombe

Rebellious and unapologetic, Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream has its own personality and flavors that appeal to adult tastes but is loved by all. Humphry Slocombe has almost 300K followers on social media and was recently named one of “San Francisco’s Most Delicious Instagram Accounts” by 7X7 Magazine. It has also attracted attention from the national press including feature articles in The New York Times Magazine and Bon Appétit and several television appearances, such as the “Top 5 Ice Creams in America” spot by Food Network.

Welcome to the bizarre, delicious, frozen universe of Humphry Slocombe.


For more ice cream updates and news, visit us at www.humphryslocombe.com or follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @humphryslocombe.

About Domaine Carneros

Founded in 1987, Domaine Carneros reflects the hallmark of its founder, Champagne Taittinger, in creating a vision of terroir-driven sparkling wine while preserving the quality tenets of the traditional method production.  Located entirely within the Carneros AVA, between Napa and Sonoma Valleys, the six estate vineyards total approximately 400 acres with 125 acres planted to Chardonnay, 225 acres planted to Pinot Noir, with the remaining acres currently in development. The winery focuses on making ultra-premium Carneros sparkling wines and limited production Pinot Noirs.

Domaine Carneros’ château has become a landmark and symbol of the region. The architecture and interior design were inspired by the 18th century Château de la Marquetterie, the Taittinger family residence in the Champagne region.  The winery also places a high value on preserving the environment and has farmed sustainably since the late 1980s. The roof of the pinot noir winery adjacent to the château hosts a solar array that was the largest on any winery in the world when it was installed. Eileen Crane, CEO & Founding Winemaker, has overseen 31 harvests at the château and in 2018 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of the winery’s luxury cuvée, Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs.  

For more information, visit: www.domainecarneros.com

Instagram: @domainecarneros

Facebook: @domainecarneroswinery

Twitter: @domainecarneros

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

For Laura Chenel: Deborah Kwan

deborah@dkprfood.com or 415.948.4370

For Domaine Carneros: Kimberly Charles

kcharles@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463

For Humphry Slocombe: Emel Shaikheshaikh@js2pr.com or 323.866.0880 x110

Abroad: Toulouse, France

Next stop on my summer tour I ventured to the wonderful city of Toulouse.

Just from word of mouth – I quickly discovered that if you are on the hunt for cheese, you must make an essential stop at Fromagerie Xavier. Located in the Victor Hugo district, it is easily accessible by foot. It is a very busy store. The Cheesemongers provide exceptional customer service and will take care of you and answer all questions that you have. The aroma and visuals of all the cheeses are truly a feast for all your senses.

There is one cheese that got my attention right away. It is the cheese in the first picture above.

It looked like the bark of a tree!

Ardikatza, is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region of France. What makes this cheese unique is that it is aged in barrels covered in ash. It has an intense taste similar to a well aged Parmesan. Lesson of the day, don’t be afraid to try new things!

In the same area, just across the street, is the Marché Victor Hugo. Visualize if you can, a covered market with dozens of stalls. You will find stalls of seafood, meat, vegetables, bakeries, charcuterie, coffee and of course cheese!

There are several different fromageries inside of the Marché. They all serve their own offerings of cheeses from the region. I talked to a couple of mongers about cheeses from California and they all said they would love to carry them someday in the future.

After combing through the market, we picked out a few cheeses. We added a bottle of wine to enjoy.

Where do you go with all this cheese and wine? Take a walk to the River Garonne. Find a spot near the Place La Daurade. Enjoy the beautiful scenery with all the residents of Toulouse.

Dairy Cows of California

Ever wondered how many different diary cows there are? The California Milk Advisory Board helps explain the differences between them!

What is the California Milk Advisory Board?

It’s an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture with the main purpose of promoting the extraordinary dairy products made with Real California Milk!

All info-graphics courtesy of the California Milk Advisory Board. Visit their website Real California Milk for more information!