We participated in the California Artisan Cheese Festival this past month and our wine club coordinator, Debbie hosted a lunch out at Point Reyes. We want to share this experience with you because not only is the cheese fantastic, but the entire farm is sustainable, self sufficient, and utilizes local businesses and product. It’s owned by a family much like the Trione family; grandfather started the business and now generations later, it’s run by the children and grandchildren. A truly wholesome experience in the heart of Sonoma County, we recommend visiting if you’re ever given the opportunity.
“I had the pleasure of visiting the R. Giacomini Dairy in Pt. Reyes to attend a lunch at The Fork, which is part of the family’s Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company complex. The farm sits across the Highway on a hilltop overlooking Tomales Bay. A spectacular view on a beautiful day!
We started with a tour of the 700 acre farm, sticking within walking distance of The Fork. The first stop was the milking barn where the friendly herd manager explained their process. Outside it was mentioned that 60% of the power needed to run the dairy was produced by their own methane gas system where animal waste is collected, methane builds up and it’s pumped back into a converter and used again. What’s not to love?
They have a cow hospital barn where they evaluate and care for cows that have any issues.
The cheese production space was small, as you would expect with artisan cheese and I couldn’t get any great pictures through the plate glass window.
We walked over to the maternity ward where the girls in there are 8-9 months pregnant. The gestation period for cows is the same as humans. They hang out in this barn and basically eat and relax until their water breaks. This barn is in an area of high traffic for the farm so that many eyes pass by and can report in if a cow goes into labor.
The silo area had separate areas for the various types of feed that gets mixed to feed the cows in addition to all of the emerald green grass that surrounds the farm. Corn, cottonseed and other goodies make up the mixture.
Next we moved to the pens where they keep the newest calves. They were much larger than I thought they would be! Clumsy, skittish but very cute.
And on to lunch…
The lunch dishes were demonstrated and prepared by husband and wife team Evan and Sarah Rich of Rich Table in San Francisco. These chefs shop and create menus based on what shows well at the market, not a new idea, but to hear them talk about it, you get a deep appreciation for the creativity that takes. They paired a Little Gem Salad + 13 Vegetables and Bay Blue Cheese with our 2014 Sauvignon Blanc and a hand-cut Chitarra Pasta + Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Garlic and Crispy Chicken Skin with our 2012 Chardonnay. The lunch finished up with a Caramelized Apple Tart + Gouda Ice Cream paired with a delicious Overland 2013 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. So good!
After lunch we were able to purchase cheese and my very favorite, the Gouda had sold out for the day so I decided upon the Bay Blue, White Cheddar and Toma. A fine haul.
If you get a chance to attend any sort of function at The Fork or the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, jump at that chance! You will be rewarded.”
Cheers to life and great cheese and wine!