There is nothing better than a nice bottle of wine, paired with some top-notch cheese.
Sure, this could be just my opinion, but for the group of friends my wife and I enjoy wine with – it is a fact!
Whether we pick some up at our local market or stop at some place like The Cheese Shop when we are in Carmel, it is a must. Going to drink some wine – then there better be some cheese around.
Recently, we may have found a new supplier when it comes to our cheese fix – the Petaluma Creamery.
The Petaluma Creamery was established over 100 years ago, with the creamery a staple of the agriculture history that has built the community in Sonoma County.
Larry Peter is a Sonoma County native, with a mission to fulfill his father’s dream of owning a dairy farm. Peter bought his first cows in 1987, which in turn led to the production of his own cheese.
In 2004 he purchased and saved the Petaluma Creamery, a step in the right direction of preserving the history of dairy farms.
“I bought the dairy, then the cows,” explained Peter. “Making cheese combines my desire and love.”
There is a retail store in Petaluma, but the Spring Hill Jersey Cheese is also available for purchase on the web site. At the retail store it is so much more than the cheese. There is 100 percent organic cheese, butter, ice cream, as well as milk and eggs available for purchase.
In addition, there is an ice cream shop and gourmet cheese shop, and you can also buy breakfast, salads, and sandwiches.
The cheese is 100 percent organic, certified humane, and comes from Jersey cows, known for producing a creamy product.
All the cows graze on grass and are organic fed. There is no crowding of the cows as they have two acres per cow on the rolling hillside of the dairy property. The cows each produce five gallons of milk a day.
We had a group over to try the cheeses along side of wine of course. The beauty – everyone liked different cheeses and it was all appealing. We had our favorites, but not one person had a negative thing to say about the cheese.
The organic Sage Cheddar was a popular one and pairs wonderfully with a nice Chardonnay. There was just enough sage to not overpower the flavor of the cheese, but instead was a perfect blend.
The one drawback and it is one that is easily avoidable is not to follow the Sage Cheddar with the White Cheddar or Yellow Cheddar. Both are excellent stand-alone cheeses, but they are overpowered by the Sage version.
My personal favorites were the Mike’s Firehouse Jack and the Pesto Jack.
The Firehouse Jack features Jalapeños, red peppers, a little cilantro, and parsley. It’s a creamy cheese that is recommended to be melted on anything, but it was very enjoyable to enjoy slice by slice.
The Pesto Jack is the newest flavor for the company and is a simple mixture of pesto, basil, and garlic. The perfect blend for me as they are three of my favorite flavors.
We also enjoyed the Parmesan, as well as the Spring Hill butter. The Parmesan was excellent over pasta, while the butter was creamy and wonderful.
The Petaluma Creamery does far more than sell retail and online. They also are a player in the restaurant industry.
“My biggest client is Chipotle,” said Peter of the popular casual Mexican grill. “I have all of California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – pretty much the entire West Coast.”
Chipotle produced a 6-plus minute video you can view on the Creamery web site. It gives the viewer insight into the operations.
Checking out the full line of products from the Petaluma Creamery is a must and the perfect complement for social gatherings, or just relaxing on your own. The next time you are around Petaluma, make a point to stop by for a visit.
Check out the web site for more information on visiting or to buy cheese, go to www.springhillcheese.com.
By Dennis Miller