The historic town of Petaluma is a cool day-trip destination for lots of good reasons. One of them is the 8th annual Artisan Cheese Festival, March 21-23, where tastings will be encouraged. The fest will be populated with cheesemakers, chefs, brewers, winemakers, farmers, dairymen, ranchers and other food- and drink-centric experts, all sharing their knowledge and products.
Look for a cheesemakers reception, farm tours, cheese tastings and competitions, special Sunday brunch and a fully stocked marketplace complete with cooking demonstrations and cookbook signings. Register early for cheese-making and cooking workshops, and seminars designed to help consumers match wines, beers and ciders with artisanal cheeses; they sell out early.
It will all be happening inside and on the grounds of the Sheraton hotel, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma; (707) 283-288. For ticketing and details, go to www.artisancheesefestival.com.