14th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival

Tickets on sale now for this cheese festival, coming this March 27-29, 2020

This cheese festival brought to you by The California Artisan Cheese Guild, brings together cheesemakers, farmers, educators, authors, chefs, cheese mongers, brewers, distillers, and winemakers from all over California for three days of cheese tasting, education and celebration.

Tickets for all of the weekend’s events are now on sale, including:

Farm & Producer Tours

Attend the guided walking tours and you will learn how cheese, ciders, and other products are made. You will get to meet the producers, farmers, and cheesemakers behind their favorite local products.

Here is an example of one of the tours. Tour E: FARMSTEAD FAMILIES featuring Two Rock Valley Goat Cheese and Nicasio Valley Cheese Co

“Tucked in the rolling hills of Two Rock, you’ll meet Don and Bonnie DeBernardi at the DeBernardi Dairy. The DeBernardi Dairy is now home to Two Rock Valley Goat Cheese as well.   Spring is kidding season and there isn’t a better – or cuter – time to meet the “kids,” the newest floppy-eared additions to their farm. 

Taste Don’s farmstead cheese which pays tribute to his family’s Swiss heritage.  Continue on to AppleGarden Farm where you’ll meet owner Jan Lee who, along with her husband, transformed former grazing land near the historic town of Tomales into an organic orchard. 

Tour the farm, learn about cider apples, dry farming, and taste the fruits of their labor!  Third generation dairy farmers, the Lafranchi family has been ranching in Nicasio for one hundred years, and began crafting farmstead cheese with organic milk from their herd of Holsteins in 2010.  Tour their beautiful pastures, visit the creamery, and taste their award-winning cheeses that capture the sense of place on this 1,150-acre family ranch.”

Seminars & Pairing Demos

Seminars and Pairing Demonstrations to take place at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg, and Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates & Gardens in Fulton.

Here is an example of one of the seminars featuring author & winemaker Janet Fletcher. Seminar 3: Cheers to Cheese!

“To kick your cheese course up a notch, open a bubbly. In the session, we’ll pop the cork on fine sparkling wines from California’s acclaimed Roederer Estate and sample them with cheeses that rise to the occasion. From triple crèmes to aged wheels to buttery blues, many cheeses love that effervescence. Planet Cheese publisher Janet Fletcher and a Roederer Estate winemaker will be your guides in this tasty look at the age-old romance between bubbles and cheese. “

Planet Cheese publisher Janet Fletcher and a Roederer Estate winemaker will be your guides in this tasty look at the age-old romance between bubbles and cheese. “

Visit the California Artisan Cheese Festival website for more information and details about the festival. You can buy your tickets here. We can’t wait to see you at the festival! Cheers!

Shooting Star Creamery Wins Big at ACS

Yet again, California has a lot of winners at the American Cheese Society’s 36th Annual Competition! Let’s take a look at Avery Jones.

Meet Avery Jones. She is the daughter of Reggie and Kellie Jones of Central Coast Creamery. She is 15 years old.

Avery is the founder of her own brand called Shooting Star Creamery.

And she just won 3rd place Overall in the Best in Show class at the 36th Annual Competition at the American Cheese Society! With 1,742 entries.

Down below you can see Shooting Star Creamery’s Aries which is an aged alpine style sheep’s milk cheese that took home the accolades.

Reach for the stars Avery!

You can stay up to date with Shooting Star Creamery on Instagram at @shooting_star_creamery

13th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival


The popular weekend festival, taking place March 23-24, attracts more than 2,500 guests, and brings together the top California cheesemakers, artisan producers, authors, chefs, brewers, winemakers and turophiles for two
days of cheese tasting, education and celebration.

From CA Artisan Cheese Festival

At the festival you can taste the cheese of Bellwether Farms, Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, Clover Sonoma, Nicasio Valley, Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese, Tomales Farmstead Creamery, Central Coast Creamery, Sierra Nevada and many more.

“The Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace is a truly unique opportunity for attendees to taste, sip, savor and purchase delectable cheeses, and products that complement cheese, all in one place,” said Judy Groverman Walker, executive director of the California Artisan Cheese Festival.

“With over 100 total vendors at this year’s Marketplace, we are delighted that this year’s festival brings 25 new purveyors to the Marketplace, making it our biggest event ever.

Attendees can not only taste an incredible array of delicious offerings at the event, but also buy cheese and artisan products and store them in a complimentary, insulated tote for the ride home. It’s definitely a not-to-be-missed event for all cheese lovers.”

From CA Artisan Cheese Festival

For more information about the festival visit the California Artisan Cheese Festival website. For tickets, you can purchase them in advance.

*All information courtesy of California Artisan Cheese Festival

Retrospective 2018 Part 2: San Francisco Cheese Festival

What happened last fall, will happen again! Each year at the San Francisco Cheese Festival cheesemakers and cheese eaters gather to support the California Artisan Cheese Guild, a nonprofit for the California artisan cheese making community.

There’s music, dancing, wine and chatter. Both new and iconic cheeses are unveiled and tasted. It’s tasty, hip and fun. Below are a few photos of the cheesemakers (and cheese eaters!) who attend.

It’s good vibes all night. Can’t wait until next year!

Anje – San Francisco Resident

Cheese Eaters at the SF Cheese Fest
Cheese Eaters at the SF Cheese Fest
Nicasio Valley Cheese
Folly Cheese Co
Cowgirl Creamery
Tomales Farmstead
Achadinha Cheese Co
WM Cofield Cheesemakers
Orland Farmstead
Central Coast Creamery
Rumiano Cheese
Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese

If you haven’t attended before, you’ll have another chance this fall. Get your name on an email list HERE.

Retrospective 2018 Part 1: American Cheese Society Competition

Boonters Blue

As we get into the new year, here is a recap of the California Cheesemakers who took home medals at the ACS 2018 cheese competition for their award winning cheeses.

ACS Logo


Blue Mold Cheeses

Boonters Blue
Boonters Blue

Fresh Unripened Cheeses

Soft-Ripened Cheeses

Hispanic & Portuguese Style Cheeses

  • Karoun Dairies, 3rd Place GM, Para Freir, Jaime Graca
  • Marquez Brothers, 1st Place GM, Menonita, Queso Menonita

Italian Type Cheeses

  • Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, 3rd Place HY, Point Reyes Fresh Mozzarella, Kuba Hemmerling
  • Belfiore Cheese Company, 2nd Place IC, Feta Cheese in Brine, Lino Esposito
  • Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, 2nd Place IG, Bella Capra Goat Feta, Ben Gregersen

American Made / International Style

  • Oakdale Cheese, 2nd Place DD, Mild Gouda, John Bulk

American Originals

  • Rumiano Cheese Company, 3rd Place CD, Uncoated Dry Jack rBST Free
  • Rumiano Cheese Company, 2nd Place CD, Peppercorn Dry Jack rBST Free
  • Fagundes Old-World Cheese, 3rd Place CJ, Hanford Jack, John Fagundes
  • Peluso Cheese, 2nd Place CT, Teleme Cheese, Joseph Reynoso
  • Marin French Cheese Company, 2nd Place CC, Petite Breakfast
  • Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, 2nd Place CC, Point Reyes Toma, Kuba Hemmerling
  • Central Coast Creamery, 1st Place CC, Bishops Peak, Reggie Jones
  • Cypress Grove, 2nd Place CG, Humboldt Fog Grande
  • Central Coast Creamery, 1st Place CS, Ewereka, Reggie Jones

Flavored Cheeses

  • Nicolau Farms, 3rd Place KD, Black Truffle Casiago, Walter Nicolau III
  • Oakdale Cheese & Specialties, 1st Place KD, Cumin Gouda, John Bulk
  • Nicasio Valley Cheese Co, 3rd Place KF, Foggy Morning with Garlic and Basil, Aaron Langdon
  • Fiscalini Cheese Co, 2nd Place KF, Hopscotch, Mariano Gonzalez
  • Karoun Dairies, 2nd Place KG, Para Freir with Jalapeno, Jaime Graca
  • Cypress Grove, 3rd Place KN, PsycheDillic
  • Bellwether Farms, 1st Place KO, Pepato, Liam
  • Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, 3rd Place KS, The Fork Pimento Cheese, Kuba Hemmerling
  • Bellwether Farms, 3rd Place KC, Blackstone, Liam Callahan

Smoked Cheeses

  • Rumiano Cheese Company, 1st Place LM, Smoked Mozzarella rBST Free

Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

  • Bellwether Farms, 3rd Place OU, San Andreas, Liam Callahan
  • Central Coast Creamery, 1st Place OU, Ewenique, Reggie Jones

Marinated Cheeses

Washed Rind Cheeses

Farmstead Cheeses

  • Pennyroyal Farm, 2nd Place MX, Boont Corners 2mo, Erika McKenzie-Chapter

For a full list of results from the cheese competition, you can visit the ACS 2018 Results

Artisan Cheese Festival

California’s main cheese event happens next weekend, Friday, the 23rd thru the 25th, in Santa Rosa. For a cheese nerd, this hits all the right buttons.

On Friday, there are farm tours (including a stop at this writer’s own farm – Straus Home Ranchtickets are still available).

A Best Bite Competition where chefs and cheesemongers come up with their best ideas, pays tribute to those brave and hardworking, first responders of the recent fires.

On Saturday, industry experts instruct on pairings with charcuterie to beer and wine and how to judge cheese.

Then start your evening with a cheese and cocktail pairing.

On Sunday, you can start your morning with a cheese and bubbly brunch.

Then, besides the farm tours (which I LOVE), comes my own favorite event: the Sunday Marketplace. Here you meet 115 producers of cheese, wine, beer, ciders and other specialty foods. One ticket gets you access to tastes galore, including both current and new cheeses while meeting the cheesemakers themselves.

This year the festival has moved from Petaluma to the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds. But parking comes FREE with your ticket purchase.

To purchase tickets, click HERE.  See you there!