Schedule of Events

Check back here in December 2016 for news on scheduled events at the 11th Annual California’s Artisan Cheese Festival.

Friday, March 18

Various Cheese Country Locations and Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma

8:30am – 3:30 pm

Cheese Country Farm and Creamery Tours + Lunch
One of the most popular and coveted of events, the intimate Farm Tours are held at various local farms and creameries, giving visitors a glimpse into the important role of the farmer and where cheese gets its start. Guests will be guided on walking tours where they can learn how cheeses are made, taste the differences between cow, sheep and goat milk cheeses, and learn how an animal’s diet affects the flavor. The tours feature an educational component such as a discussion or tasting led by an industry expert providing insights and further exploration on a variety of topics. Cheese is available for purchase on most of the farm tours. Lunch and round trip transportation are included. All but Capitol Area Tour North and Capitol Area Tour South depart from the Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma.
(Ticket price is $135 per person.)

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Cheesemongers’ Duel — The Best Bite  (Under the Big Top, Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma)
Warm up your taste buds for the weekend’s events as you meet our rock star cheesemongers in a light hearted competition showcasing CHEESE! More than two dozen cheesemongers will take center stage as they are provided with a block, wedge or bowl of artisan cheese from one of our artisan cheesemakers and asked to create The Best Bite! Audience participation is a must! Artisan wines, beers and cider will be available for sampling as will the “Fantasy Cheese Table” complete with local and rare cheeses at this not-to-be-missed party to kick off the weekend.
(Ticket price is $50 per person.)

Saturday, March 19

Various Cheese Country Locations and Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma

8:30am – 3:30 pm

Cheese Country Farm and Creamery Tours + Lunch  
NEW THIS YEAR: EXPANDED TO SATURDAY! One of the most popular and coveted of events, the intimate Farm Tours are held at various local farms and creameries, giving visitors a glimpse into the important role of the farmer and where cheese gets its start. Guests will be guided on walking tours where they can learn how cheeses are made, taste the differences between cow, sheep and goat milk cheeses, and learn how an animal’s diet affects the flavor. The tours feature an educational component such as a discussion or tasting led by an industry expert providing insights and further exploration on a variety of topics. Cheese is available for purchase on most of the farm tours. Lunch and round trip transportation are included. Tours depart from the Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma.
(Ticket price is $135 per person.)

10:00 am – 11:30 am

 

Seminars and Pairing Demos
Join local industry experts, chefs and cheesemakers for a variety of interactive experiences throughout the day at the Sheraton Sonoma County and Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma. Led by industry experts on a variety of topics, the seminars will range from pairing cheese with sake to the similarities of making cheese and chocolate. Confirmed instructors include Peggy Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery; renowned cheese writer and author Janet Fletcher; author and cheese expert Laura Werlin; cheese expert and founding president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild Lynne Devereux; and cheese and wine author Kristin Jackson.
(Ticket price is $75 per person.)

11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Book Sales and Author Signing (Sheraton Sonoma County Lobby)
Meet the authors and have them sign some of your favorite cheese books – cooking, cheesemaking and more. Books sold on-site by Copperfield’s Books.

12 noon – 1 pm

Lunch

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Seminars and Pairing Demos
Join local industry experts, chefs and cheesemakers for a variety of interactive experiences throughout the day at the Sheraton Sonoma County and Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma. Led by industry experts on a variety of topics, the seminars will range from pairing cheese with sake to the similarities of making cheese and chocolate. Confirmed instructors include Peggy Smith and Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery; renowned cheese writer and author Janet Fletcher; author and cheese expert Laura Werlin; cheese expert and founding president of the California Artisan Cheese Guild Lynne Devereux; and cheese and wine author Kristin Jackson.
(Ticket price is $75 per person.)

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Book Sales and Author Signing (Sheraton Sonoma County Lobby)
Meet the authors and have them sign some of your favorite cheese books – cooking, cheesemaking and more. Books sold on-site by Copperfield’s Books.

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm California Cheesin’ – We Do It Our Whey! (Under the Big Top – Sheraton Sonoma County)
In celebration of a decade of California’s Artisan Cheese Festival, guests are invited to taste their way around this evening celebration of California cheese, sampling dishes from some of the Bay Area’s best chefs and caterers. Each chef will incorporate their favorite locally made cheese into an impressive dish for attendees who will then cast their vote for their favorite dish. The winner will be announced on-site during this lively and festive competition and there will also be a special tribute to some of the icons of California’s artisan cheese industry. Artisan wines, beers and ciders will be on hand to complement each dish, and live music and a photo booth will add to the jovial atmosphere.
(Ticket price is $75 per person.)

Sunday, March 20

Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma

9:30 am -12:00pm

Bubbles Brunch
Featuring Celebrity Guest Chef John Ash (The Ballroom at the Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma)
Considered the Father of Wine Country cuisine, Chef John Ash will be dishing up a special Sunday brunch celebrating California cheese at every course. Join Chef John Ash for a delicious brunch, demonstrating techniques for incorporating artisan cheese into an elegant meal, during this two-hour culinary adventure. Sit, sip, and savor as we walk you through tips, tricks and recipes on combining curds and cuvees. Tickets include brunch, sparkling wine and coveted early entry into the Artisan Cheese Tasting & Marketplace at 11:00 am before it opens to the public at 12:00 noon.
(Ticket price is $115 per person.)

 

12:00pm – 4:00 pm

Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace (Under the Big Top, Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma)
Join us Under the Big Top for an afternoon like no other! Meet over 90 artisan producers and experience the best of local cheese, wine, beer, ciders and other specialty foods. Discover the next wave of interesting cheese accompaniments, cheesemaking products and books. Pick up new recipes, tips and tricks at chef demos scheduled throughout the day. Bring your pocketbook as there will be an opportunity to purchase your favorite cheeses and artisan products. Your ticket includes admission, access to chef demos and author book signings, the coveted Artisan Cheese Festival insulated cheese tote bag and a festival wine glass.
(Ticket price is $45 per person, $20 for kids 12 and under.)