Achadinha Creamery Tour: Visiting Sonoma's Makers on the Cheese Trail
Three weeks ago I was part of a Wine & Cheese Tour for the California Artisan Cheese Festival, called Perfect Pairings. Combining visits to wineries and farmstead creameries, it was my kind of a day. Possibly the only more perfect combo could have been Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, or, peanut butter and chocolate (but at least one of these duos was likely too busy getting ready for the Golden Globes to show).
I led the wine and cheese pairing class but first snuck into the tour to Achadinha. I've long had my eye on this creamery. Their bold Capricious was one of the "Strong & Hards" in my book, so I got to play around with them around their cheese vat one day when seeing how it was made, but hadn't had a chance to visit since (when you teach cheesemaking classes, you have less time to visit actual cheesemakers).
I write about cheese so I often get insiders tours where we get to visit the animals and sample cheese both so we can better understand the creamery's story where others might only get to nibble. Like Tomales Farmstead Creamery in Marin, Achadinha does it all no matter who you are. If you make an appointment for the right day, you get a peek in the creamery, taste cheese, visit the ladies, and best of all, hear Achadinha's history from Donna Pacheco. The mother of the current cheesemakers (her two sons), Donna started the creamery, which is important. But also important is that she's hilarious. I won't spoil any jokes though.
Check it out. As for what I paired with the creamery's cheese? A little juice from one of my favorite winemakers.
Achadinha's Broncha - an aged goat and cow's milk wheel- & Massican's Annia ribolla gialla, tocai friulano and chardonnay blend from Napa. Northern California, you're the best.
If feeling like elongating your windy drive through the green Sonoma hills, check out more creameries to visit on the California Cheese Trail map.