A Tasty Tour of Northern California
Visit organic and bio-dynamic wineries and engage in dialogue with winemakers on the management of sustainable vineyards and its effects on the wine. Enjoy vineyard tours and tasting wine; if you desire, purchase products on site. Our delicious Organic Cheese Tour offers an insider’s glimpse into the fine craft of local cheese making. Participants visit goat, cow and sheep dairies and explore barns, milking parlors, and creameries.
Some Suggestions Stops
IRON HORSE RANCH & VINEYARD
This vineyard offers a spectacular view of a series of gentle rolling hills, stitched together by rows of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Enjoy the practice of “precision viticulture” (aka “micro-farming”) under the guidance of Daniel Roberts, PhD – known as “Dr. Dirt”. The estate is divided into 39 blocks, farmed individually, harvested separately and then each vinified as a ‘single vineyard’. Each has been planted with site-specific rootstock and clone selections. All pruning, canopy management, irrigation, and cover crop decisions are determined on a block-by- block (and sometimes even vine-by- vine) basis, considering both the vintage and the long-term needs of the land.
LITTORAI BIODYNAMIC WINERY
This family-owned winery produces world-class, true north coast California wine and is dedicated to producing wines that reflect the genius of an individual site and greatest expression of terroir. Where some producers look to technology as the route to great wines, Littorai focuses on hands-on farming and work with Mother Nature. All additives, such as cultured yeasts, cultured bacteria, acidification, and enzymes are not appropriate here. The goal is to produce as many of the farm and vineyard needs onsite as possible, in a manner harmonious with and respectful of the surrounding environment and wildlife.
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One of Sonoma County’s most creative artisanal creameries, offering a variety of alpine goat, cow and sheep cheeses. The wild blue rye molds powder their natural rind cheeses and the salty marine layer infuses their aging rooms. They use only vegetarian rennet in authentic artisanal tradition.
VALLEY FORD CHEESE COMPANY
In 2008 the family started Valley Ford Cheese and Creamery at their beautiful location overlooking the unique waters and wetlands of the Estero Americano in Valley Ford. The lush, rolling pastures have been home to five generations of the dairy family, practicing sustainable agriculture as their ancestors did. The farmstead cheese comes from a “closed” herd of 500 Jersey Cows that is dedicated to top-quality health and nutrition programs.
FREESTONE ARTISAN CHEESE SHOP
This little 1880s redwood cottage on the Bohemian Highway sells local handcrafted cheeses focusing on producers who make such limited quantities that the owner jokes that sometimes he has to “arm wrestle the cheese from the cheesemakers.”
Possible Additional Stop
Visit a Kyoto-style Meditation Garden ranked among the top Japanese gardens in North America at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, home to the only cedar enzyme bath in the country. This healing spa offers a quiet place for Tranquility and rejuvenation during your journey. You’ll walk through a labyrinth of plants, stones, and water to encounter various rock and plant features, each carefully designed—down to the sound of water gently descending on stones—to offer a new perspective and opportunity for reflection.Rest your feet in the fermentation bath and feel Vitality flow into your being.
—-$30 per person. Weekdays only.—-