VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY

Hi there. Well, I turned another year older last week and in celebration (not sure celebration is the right word at my age) my husband and I went to visit our oldest and dearest friends who recently moved to Healdsburg, California. Healdsburg is a uber charming quaint little town located in Sonoma wine country in Northern California. Every minute of our wonderful weekend was filled with my kinda fun: visiting wineries, attending Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend, going to two terrific restaurants and visiting Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

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It all started more than a century ago when Tobias Giacomini arrived in Northern California from Italy with a dream of raising cows on the beautiful pastureland of coastal California along the shores of Tomales Bay.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Two generations later the Giacomini family lured their 4 daughters back to the farm, where each of them brings a unique talent to the business.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They have the happiest cows in California, that produce the Grade A, hormone-free milk that makes the most amazing cheese.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

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VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

You are what you eat, as the saying goes, and the lucky cows that call Point Reyes Farmstead home have a wonderful diet of ryegrass grown on the 720 acre property. This ultimately results in the production of milk with a flavor unique to Marin County, California.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

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Thus, the cheese made from this distinctive milk is really exceptional.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

When we arrived at the farm we were escorted out to this lovely courtyard.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

where they served us delicious house-made ice cream sandwiches.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

While we awaited the tour I enjoyed exploring the grounds, which included a pretty vegetable, flower and herb garden.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We watched some of the lucky cows grazing…

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and bonded with a couple of newborn calves.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

while other baby cows enjoyed the good life in their individual incubators.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The first stop on our tour was a visit to the milking facility. Twice a day about 420 Holstein cows line up to be milked.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Just beyond the milking facility is a feed pen where all the pregnant cows are kept.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

These cows, that aren’t giving up their milk for the making of cheese, are working hard to produce more dairy cows for the farm. By the way, did you know the gestation period for a cow is 9 months, just like humans? I didn’t.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There is only one lucky bull that lives at Point Reyes Farmstead. He is only put to work in the event that artificial insemination doesn’t take. The bull “Milmay” pictured below is immortalized in the Farmstead offices. Patriarch Bob Giacomini tells the story that the sale of this one bull put all 4 of his daughters through college. That’s one studly bull for you! 

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next we got a glimpse of the cheese being made.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comVISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And saw the old barn where the feed is kept. The cows diet of ryegrass, corn, cotton seed and whey leftover from the cheese production is never varied, lest it would result in a different flavor of milk and ultimately change the flavor of the cheese. Each cow consumes a whopping 150 pounds of feed each day.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

At Point Reyes Farmstead every effort is made to be responsible and sustainable. All of the waste and water runoff is collected in the holding ponds shown below where they generate methane gas which provides 60% of the farms energy.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Our tour concluded with a cheese tasting. Here at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company they produce a variety of award winning artisanal cheeses.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They are most proud of their award winning Point Reyes Blue, the cheese that started it all. Aged for 5 months, it’s a medium-strong, ultra creamy blue cheese. They also make a rustic Bay Blue that has a fudge-like texture and a milder, sweet pungency.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They also produce the best tasting, luscious fresh mozzarella cheese I think I’ve ever tasted. Their Toma cheese, named in honor of the Italian word referencing cheese made by the farmer himself, has a wonderful buttery flavor and subtle grassy tang, reminding one of the ryegrass that feeds the cows.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

They even made the ice water they served with the cheese look inviting.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

At the conclusion of the tour we stepped inside where all of the wonderful cheeses were available for purchase. They sell cute insulated bags with ice in which to store your cheese for the ride home. Of course we couldn’t resist purchasing one of everything.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Point Reyes Farmstead also has this lovely event facility called “The Fork.” Designed for education and entertaining, The Fork offers hands-on and demo-style culinary classes, tastings, and monthly farm dinners that sell out within minutes of going online. They even offer foods made from the edible garden I showed you earlier. I’m putting a dinner at The Fork on the top of my bucket list for a future visit.

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stay tuned and in my next post I’ll be taking you with me to the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend. It was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! A great day of cooking, gardening and entertaining demos, wine tasting, shopping and enjoying Sunset’s new facility at Cornerstone in Sonoma. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to share it with you!

So there you have it: VISITING POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. This is not a sponsored post. I just like sharing.

Comments

  • The Enchanted Home

    How FUN!!!! This is my idea of a perfect weekend…..celebrations, friends, cheese and wine…looks amazing. I am craving a full on cheese spread right now:) Happy Birthday, that part of Cali is just so beautiful…lucky you!

  • Hi Tina, yes my weekend in wine country was perfectly perfect in every way! I was indeed feeling very lucky to enjoy such a good time with good friends and great food and wine. What could be better?!

  • Thank you, glad you enjoyed the post. It really is a special place that I would recommend to anyone visiting Northern California.