A Do-It-Yourself Cheese Tour of the North Bay

Explore the Sonoma and Marin Cheese Trail

While you can use this handy map as a guide to Sonoma and Marin cheesemakers, a discussion on Chowhound marks the best producers to visit on a DIY tour. ‘Hounds praise the Matos Cheese Factory, and the Bohemian Creamery cheese you can taste at Sonoma Wine Shop.

Image from Bohemian Creamery

Cheesemakers of Marin and Sonoma County.pdf

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Camellia Cheese (in place of Bucheret)

Producer: Redwood Hill Farm 
Website: http://www.redwoodhill.com
Country of Origin: United States
Region of Origin: California
Milk Type: Goat
Milk Treatment: Pasteurized
Classification: Soft
Rennet: Vegetable
Rind: Mold Ripened
Shape: Disc
Size: 2.5 ins diameter, 1 in high Weight: 5oz

Located in Northern California’s Sonoma County, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is both a goat dairy and a creamery producing specialty dairy products owned and operated by Jennifer Lynn Bice along with fifty-five dedicated employees.

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery was started by Jennifer’s parents in 1968 while she and her brothers and sisters were raising dairy goats in 4-H. Jennifer and her late husband, Steven Schack took over in 1978.

In addition to a passionate interest in raising and milking dairy goats, Jennifer also continues to develop and maintain an excellent genetics program. The herd has won many National Champions and Top Ten milking awards and produces seed stock for breeders across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Redwood Hill Farm was the first goat dairy in the US to be Certified Humane®, which is considered to be the gold standard in third-party certification for humane animal treatment. Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is committed to sustainability. They have recently installed solar energy systems, which offset 100% of the projected energy needs of the creamery and the farm.

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s primary focus is on making natural artisanal cheeses, yogurts, kefir, and other specialty dairy products. Milk for production is sourced from their own dairy along with a number of other carefully selected local goat dairies. The milk is produced from Alpine, Nubian, La Mancha and Saanen dairy goats.

Made in the style of a Camembert, from pasteurized goat’s milk, Camellia is named after one of Redwood Hill Farm’s favorite does. During production, the curd is handled very gently to allow for the retention of as much moisture as possible. The cheese is allowed to drain naturally before being unmolded.

After production, the young Camellia are placed in a drying room before being transferred to maturing rooms where they will remain for two or three weeks.
Just after aging, Camellia has a mild, buttery flavor and a slight tang. It also has a bone-white color and a firm texture. Let it age longer (five weeks), the cheese develops more intense, complex flavors with notes of earth, mushrooms and truffles. At about six to eight weeks of age, the texture softens, becoming yielding and unctuous.

Pairings: Camellia pairs well with Hard Cider, dry Rose, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir wines.