Sonoma County, California Artisan Cheese Festival March 18-20 preview

SONOMA, March 9, 2016 – What do dozens of award-winning cheesemakers, hundreds of different types of cheese, and 10,000 cheese lovers have in common? They are all in attendance at the 10th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival taking place March 18-20 in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California.

CA_CheeseFEst_Endive-640x360This full cheese exposition is a collection of the best in the field when it comes to cheese. It is a three-day celebration and exploration of handcrafted cheese, food, wine and beer from around California and beyond.

The event truly celebrates the craft of artisan cheese making. Attendees learn how to taste, buy, serve and enjoy cheeses from the experts. There are education seminars and tastings that are led by experts from around the country. Festival attendees can participate in everything from touring local cheese farms, to meeting the cheesemakers, and even taking cheese making classes. One thing is certain, you will consume a lot of cheese over the three days. There is a definite focus on California cheese, but other regions are also represented.

chef-vs-chef-1-of-1-14A hot topic this year will be sustainability. It is a hot word all over California artisan practices. The festival does a good job of helping consumers understand what is meant by sustainability and what the differences are in artisan cheeses versus non-artisan. The festival also supports the artisan cheesemakers financially. Ten percent of ticket proceeds benefit non-profit organizations that work to protect and preserve the lands needed by the cheesemakers.

All this talk about cheese is likely making you hungry for cheese. There will be nearly 100 different artisan producers handing out samples of their cheese, wine, beer and more. You name it, they will have it: hard cheese, soft cheese, aged cheese, infused cheese, sheep’s milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, raw cheese and cheese you’ve never heard of.


Here are a few cheese favorites from previous years:

  • Bellwether Farms, Sonoma County CA: Carmody and Pepato cheeses
  • Clover Stornetta Farms, Sonoma County CA: Herb & Spice Havarti
  • Marin French Cheese Company, Marin CA: Schloss and Goat’s Milk Camembert cheeses
  • Redwood Hill Farm, Petaluma CA: Raw Milk Feta and Smoked Goat Cheddar cheeses.  Also check out their yogurts.
  • Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese: Willits CA: Soft Chevre in various flavors (Basil, Dill, Black Pepper)
  • Winters Cheese Co, Winters CA: Tomato & Basil Cheddar, Gouda, and Garlic & Chive cheeses


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