I wind around a narrow, forested road, about six miles off Highway 1 near Cambria on the Central Coast, thinking I’ve gone too far, until the sky opens and – voila – there is the hidden gem of Stepladder Creamery.
The farm, founded in 1871, with a central open field surround by barns and frolicking LaMancha goats, is the run by third generation farmer, Jack Rudolph, and his wife Michelle. They make cheese in their 100+ year-old barn. The farm is magical.
Jack & Michelle make goat cheese Spring through Fall in their tiny creamery tucked away away in the barn’s corner. Cow milk cheeses are made in the winter. This is in addition to the avocados, cherimoyas and passionfruit, also grown on site. There are also pigs and cattle. Wow.
Paso Vino, soaked in Syrah, ages on the rack.
The best part is, you can visit. Seasonal farm and creamery tours can be booked online. Spring tours allow you to play with the tiny kids (baby goats). And then they serve you cheese.
Right now, Stepladder’s Cabrillo, a Spanish-style semi-firm cheese made with a combination of cow and goat milk, is on promotion at Whole Foods Market in Northern California region. Whole Foods suggests pairing Cabrillo with the slow-roasted La Saison Herbs De Provence Almonds. However you decide pair it…you’ll enjoy.