California’s Artisan Cheese Festival

Cheesemakers unite with wineries and breweries in Petaluma, California

Who doesn’t like cheese? Who, then, wouldn’t like three days of cheese tastings along with beer and wine at California’s seventh annual Artisan Cheese Festival from March 22 to 24 in Petaluma, Calif.?

"California's artisan cheesemakers live on the wedge and this festival is the only opportunity for cheese enthusiasts to engage with all of them in one place," said Judy Groverman Walker, director of the festival, in an email to The Daily Meal. "Almost every one of California's artisan cheesemakers will be in attendance showcasing their very best handcrafted cheeses, teaching and talking with guests about their craft, and tasting each other's creations."

The non-stop event features tours of Lafranchi Ranch and Keller Estate Winery, along with beer and cheese pairings — and even tasting competitions, highlighting California’s bountiful artisanal spirit.

"California has always been known for its agriculture but it has become one of the fastest growing cheese regions in the United States in the last 10 years — cow's milk, goat's milk, sheep's milk, and even buffalo's milk cheeses are all being made here," said Walker. "This festival celebrates not only these amazing artisan producers, but also several other local superstars in the artisan food, beer, and wine industries in California."

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Say cheese. You’ll certainly be smiling at this festival.