9 Top Tours for Cheese-Loving Travelers Slideshow
A restored farm built in 1910, Harley Farms is a down-to-earth, welcoming nine-acre space with more than 200 goats. They produce award-winning chevre, fromage blanc, ricotta, and feta and offer year-round, hands-on tours to curious cheese eaters.
One of Scotland's best-known dairies, Connage produces a range of classic and organic cheeses from Dunlop to crowdie and Gouda. Visitors to the dairy can watch cheeses being made before them in the production room and chat with experts in the Connage Pantry, where you'll select cheeses straight from the source.
Hunter Valley is known best as one of Australia's premier wine regions. So it is only fitting that gastronomic travelers would find the Hunter Valley Cheese Company nearby. Pre-wine tasting, stop at by for an in-depth cheese tasting and talk, as well as a free factory tour. Or join one of their cheesemakers lunches for a taste of their product alongside a sumptuous, locally sourced feast.
A biodynamic and organic farm in the Hudson Valley, Hawthorne Valley Farm is dedicated to the agricultural education of all its visitors. Stop in year-round to see how their yogurts and cheeses are made and take part in one of the farm's many tastings and tours.
The region of Parma in Italy is so renowned (and preceded) by its Parmesan cheese, the Parma tourism board will help visitors organize custom cheese factory tours, whether it's two hours or a full day. They're free and, of course, include tastings of the sharp, local flavor. Your guides will be passionate and knowledgeable locals, with whom you can analyze all the flavors of Parma.
Tour the culinary (read: cheesy) map of France with Domaines & Terroirs, who operate cheese-focused tours from Paris to Provence. They'll arrange for travelers to discover the sheeps milk cheeses of Basque country, the rich cheeses of the Alps, and the seaside production of Camembert in Normandy. Of course, they make sure cheeses are paired well with other local specialties from Calvados to preserves.
Shelburne Farms is a family-friendly and educational place where all parts of the working farm are on display for inquisitive guests. In true form, they invite you to take in the process of making their famous Vermont farmhouse Cheddar. The cheesemaking tours only run from May to October, but you'll learn about every inch of the dairy and the cows they raise, before tasting the delicious, sharp Cheddar.
Wisconsin recently released their official guide to "America's Dairyland," which highlights more than 100 cheesemakers, specialty shops, and dairy farms for locals and visitors. The varieties of Wisconsin cheese are endless, as is the passion of cheesemakers throughout the state — big and small, many farms welcome visitors for tours and tastings.
A small cheesemaker in the Grosseto region of Italy, Caseificio Seggiano churns out lauded specialties that showcase flavors of the surrounding region, like local walnuts, olive oil, and truffles. Visitors must call and schedule an appointment ahead of time, but tastes of their pecorino, tartufo, and the daily handmade ricotta cheese are well worth the call ahead.
Flickr/Salvadonica, Chianti, Tuscany