Events this January!

Here are some January events in cheese you won’t want to miss!

January 18 – Achadinha Cheese Company’s Cheesemaking Class

Looking for that once in a lifetime cheese making experience? This class is for you! Upon arrival you will roll up your sleeves, put on a hairnet and get your hands wet in a Vat full of curds and whey! You will learn how to use the equipment and see the cheese aging room before being treated to a full ranch tour that includes everything from the Milking parlor to the Loafing barn. Naturally there will be plenty of cheese tasting before lunch in their family party room.

January 19 – Cheesemonger Invitational

“Trust us when we say that this party is like no party you’ve ever attended. This is a have-to-be-there, FOMO-inducing, adrenaline-pumping cheesesplosion. Expect rabid cheese fans. Expect a grown man in a cow costume. Expect a lot of cheese — like, whatever you’re imagining is a lot of cheese? Imagine more. You honestly haven’t lived until you’ve cheered at the top of your lungs (with a mouth full of brie) for someone to cut a perfect quarter pound of cheese on a stage in front of hundreds of like minded cheese heads.”

The next Cheesemonger Invitational is January 19th, 2020 at 4PM
The Midway (located at 900 Marin St, San Francisco, CA 94124)

January 23 – Winter Cheese + Wine at The Cheese School of San Francisco

From crisp and lean to rich and warming, this class introduces winter-friendly wines perfect for the colder seasons. Cheese expert Laura Werlin will introduce you to her favorite wines to keep you warm and the delicious winter cheeses that love them.

Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Date: Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
InstructorLaura Werlin
Location: This class will be held at our home in Ghirardelli Square! 
Address:  900 North Point Street, SF CA 94109

January 24 – Cowgirl Creamery Curd Making Demo and Cheese Tasting

Visit Cowgirl Creamery’s original creamery for a 60-minute presentation on West Marin, their beginnings, and their cheese. You’ll get an up-close curd-making demonstration and a guided tasting of all of the Cowgirl Creamery cheeses.

January 29 – Cheese Lovers Tour with Food and Farm Tours

Explore three award winning creameries and sample local artisan cheeses, right where they are made. Enjoy exclusive visits to dairy farms and frolic with the sheeps, goats and cows! Learn all about cheesemaking from local experts and taste over a dozen artisan cheeses. Savor a locavore picnic in the beautiful countryside.

Enjoy all these events in cheese this month! For a complete list of California cheese events visit our events page here.

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

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

###

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

Pedrozo Dairy & Creamery

I love talking to Tim Pedrozo about the issues of small dairies. Because he’s a dairyman and I grew up on a dairy and manage a farm. We’re both looking for solutions.

Cows grazing at Pedrozo Dairy and Creamery

I’d been meaning to visit Tim’s farm for years. I finally made it. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I saw was so – dare I say it – delightful. Tim and his family have collected an assortment of different breeds of cows. And there are just a handful. Maybe 25. And they wander around right outside their home.

Tim takes care of the cows. His son Tom makes the cheese. His daughter Laura does the marketing. His wife Jill works both off the farm and on.

The Pedrozo Family with one of their award-winning cows.

The cheese is fabulous. It’s raw, tasty and great to eat on its own or in recipes. As a matter of fact, while celebrating Raw Milk Cheese Day, they had a crockpot full of homemade Mac ‘n Cheese that was to die for.

The Pedrozos show their cattle at various fairs, often winning top honors. A couple of times a year, they open their farm where you can get up close with the cows and buy wheels of cheese at a very reasonable price. They also ship cheese direct to your door.

Pedrozo Dairy and Creamery is located in Orland, in the north Central Valley, near Chico. I enjoyed my visit. You can stop by yourself during the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend on October 12th and 13th.

If you have a chance, pick up some of their cheese at your local store. Check where it’s sold HERE.

Sign at Pedrozo Dairy and Creamery

Abroad: The Cotswolds

Welcome to our Abroad series, where we document our encounters with cheese and cheesemakers on our travels!

Here at the California Cheese Trail, our heart and soul is California. We’re proud of our dairy farmers and cheese makers. That is why we created the Cheese Trail to support them.

But once in awhile, travel takes us to far out places and we encounter cheeses from abroad. Here is our newest series to our blog, where we document our travels!

Our Abroad Series

Hi, I’m Philip. If you don’t know me, I’m the official sidekick here at the California Cheese Trail.

This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Europe for two weddings. The itinerary included the United Kingdom, Spain and France!

My first stop was the the Cotswolds in the United Kingdom.

As I did some research before the trip I realized there are some great cheeses from the region as well as cheese shops. I made sure to make time to try the local cheeses.

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is an area in the UK that is famous for its charming and quaint English towns and villages built from golden yellow brown stones. If you are into nature and hiking, you will also find the Cotswold Way National Trail which is a 102 mile long footpath that traverses though the whole area.

Picturesque to cut the story short. Back to cheese.

I was more than excited to find out about the Cotswold Cheese Co. They have several shops in the Cotswolds: Burford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Cheltenham and Stow-on-the-Wold. Founded in 2006, it was acquired by Jon and Lisa Goodchild in 2010. They stock more than 120 different artisan and farmhouse cheeses.

I was able to sample a bunch of the cheeses and took home some “Rollright” from King Stone Dairy (a washed rind soft cheese banded in spruce bark) and Cerney’s “Ash” (a goat cheese hand coated with a oak ash and sea salt mix).

I also learned that there is a cheese named after the region. The Cotswold cheese is a variation of the Double Gloucester which is made from cow’s milk and has chopped onions and chives added to it. It is one of the more popular pub cheeses in England.

There is nothing quite like walking around the town and stopping by the local cheese shop for a snack!

Kim, the cheesemonger at the Stow-in-the-Wold location kindly informed me that there were some local cheesemakers nearby, but unfortunately my schedule didn’t let me fit a visit in. There is always next time!

If you plan on visiting the United Kingdom, I highly recommend spending a couple of days in the Cotswolds.

The area has everything you need for a vacation: great scenery, charming towns and cheese!

Next up on “Abroad”, I head to Spain and the south of France to find more cheese.

Cheers!

Fiscalini Cheese

An American original with Swiss roots.

The year is 1886, when Mateo Fiscalini emigrates from Switzerland with his family. First finding work on the railroad, he eventually settles all the way west in Cambria, California.

In 1912, Mateo’s son, John Baptiste Fiscalini, a graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, purchases 160 acres of land in Modesto. Two years later he starts a dairy farm with ten cows.

By 1995, two generations later, the Fiscalini farm has a large herd of Holstein cows. And in 2001, John Fiscalini, the grandson of John Baptiste, who has dreamt of making cheese, is introduced to Mariano Gonzalez, master cheddar-maker from Paraguay. Mariano develops a bandage-wrapped cheddar, sweeping up many awards, and giving British cheeses a run for their money.

Today, Fiscalini Cheese produces award-winning cheeses with the knowledge and spirit of four generations of family behind them. And, best of all, you can visit them.

Stop by their farm and creamery (yes, the cows are right there!) to pick up cheese in their front office. If you feel like making it a bigger cheese journey, Fiscalini can be just one of your stops on the Central Valley Cheese Loop #1.

This month you can find Fiscalini’s San Joaquin Gold on promotion at Whole Foods Market in Northern California. San Joaquin Gold is an Italian-style, semi-hard cheese made from raw cow’s milk. It is named after the beautiful San Joaquin valley where it is made.

Jenny MacKenzie of Tomales Farmstead Creamery

Original Interview by Hilary Green, ACS CCP at Marin Co. Monger

Jenny MacKenzie in the barn at Tomales Farmstead Creamery. Photo Courtesy Jenny MacKenzie

Four miles inland from the mighty Pacific ocean, a small Marin County dairy is making some of the best cheese in America. Tomales Farmstead Creamery is a 160-acre sheep and goat dairy in Tomales, California. Founded in 2003, owners Tamara Hicks and David Jablons dedicated four years to the restoration of the land, and after careful coordination with sustainable land management organizations, the farm became an Animal Welfare Approved goat and sheep dairy in 2007.

This year, Tomales Farmstead won second in its category at the American Cheese Society conference for Atika– a sheep and goat blended cheese with a beautiful, basket-weave natural rind. At the helm (or vat, as it were) for this winning batch: assistant cheesemaker Jenny MacKenzie. In my quest to better understand the world of West Marin cheese producers, I reached out to Jenny for an interview this month. Jenny is an East coast transplant with a love of cheese and sustainable agriculture. What’s the story of a micro-dairy cheesemaker whose work wins a national award? Continue below for Jenny’s story!


August 26, 2018

Marin Co. Monger: What brought you to the world of sustainable agriculture?

Jenny MacKenzie:  I started making cheese in 2014 on a very small, farmstead goat dairy, Appleton Creamery, in Appleton, ME. Working on such a a small farm and being surrounded by other types of small organic/sustainable/diverse farms at the farmer’s markets where we sold cheese really sparked my interest in sustainable agriculture. After attending the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, ME that same year I really fell in love with small sustainable farms. Just being immersed in agriculture and learning the harms it can cause but being fortunate to see how it can be done correctly with little to no impact was so fascinating to me. I really don’t see why anyone would want to farm any other way!

To read the rest of the article visit Marin Co Monger

Hilary Green, ACS CCP