This year, Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma hosts the 7th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival. From March 22nd to March 24th, this celebration brings together cheesemakers, chefs, vintners, and brewers.
Artisan cheese is handcrafted using traditional craftsmanship and techniques for aging. The result is a variety of cheeses each with complex tastes, aromas, and textures.
The event begins Friday with a selection of farm tours (transportation provided by Pure Luxury) where guests visit the source to discover where and how cheese is made, meet cheesemakers, and sample delicious artisan cheeses. Each year the farm tours are so popular that they sell out – this year is no exception. Make sure to mark your calendar to sign up early for next year!
For the first time, Friday evening ends with a Meet the Cheesemakers Reception where guests will enjoy wine, beer, and cheese while meeting dedicated, skilled cheesemakers.
Saturday begins with a selection of over a dozen seminars, and cooking and pairing demonstrations presented by an amazing cast of experts. A few to choose from include:
- “Mixin’ it up with Chef John Ash” – Chef John Ash moderates a discussion and tasting with five artisan cheesemakers. The cheeses being tasted are created with a combination of cow, sheep, and goat milk. Chef Ash will also be giving wine pairing recommendations for these mixed milk cheeses.
- “Cheese Meets Beer: Strategies for Harmony” – Half a dozen craft brews will be paired with cheeses in this exploration presented by two experts; food writer, educator, and three-time James Beard Award winner Janet Fletcher; and, the third of six Master Cicerone’s in the world, Rich Higgins.
- “Cheese 101: How to Talk Cheese” – Learn how to use your senses to taste and understand artisan cheese from Oxbow Cheese Merchant founder, author, and Culture magazine founder, Lassa Skinner. She’ll also be teaching how to pair artisan cheeses with Napa Valley wines.
Saturday evening continues with over 50 of California’s artisan cheesemakers, wineries, breweries, and restaurants in the Grand Cheese Tasting & Best in Cheese Competition. Guests will walk-around inside the Sheraton – Petaluma meeting cheesemakers, vintners, chefs, and brewers while sampling a little bit of everything. Each restaurant has paired with an artisan cheesemaker to create special bites just for this occasion.
Some local cheesemakers competing include:
- Bellwether Farms
- Cowgirl Creamery
- Laura Chenel’s Chevre
- Marin French Cheese Company
- Redwood Hill Farm
A few local restaurants to look for:
A sample of local wineries and breweries:
The festivities continue Sunday morning with brunch with Chef Mark Stark followed by the Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace.
Pure Luxury is proud to be a Premier Sponsor of this special event. Contact us for private transportation during this incredible weekend.
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