Escapes: California's premier cheese festival


Cheesy goodness

Cheese-makers, chefs, brewers, sommeliers, winemakers and foodies in general will gather for three days of tasting and learning about artisan cheese.

The eighth annual California’s Artisan Cheese Festival starts off Friday with a number of farm tours, which feature visits to nurseries, milking cows, cheese-focused lunches, cheese and beer tastings and plenty more for $75 to $135. In the evening, meet the cheese-makers and sample their latest products.

Saturday brims with seminars and workshops led by industry experts, including San Francisco Chronicle cheese columnist Janet Fletcher on cheese rinds; author Laura Werlin on melted cheese; brewer Rich Higgins on the terroir of Sonoma beer and cheese; and many more. Individual seminars are $65 while classes – the basics of cheese-making, making moldy cheese – cost $95. The day concludes with a grand cheese tasting and competition, showcasing more than 20 restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries and their ability to manipulate cheese. Tickets cost $75.

Next Sunday concludes with an artisan cheese tasting and marketplace, with more than 75 artisans offering cheese or cheese-minded samples. Entry runs $45 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.

It all takes place at the Sheraton Sonoma County at 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma. For tickets and a full schedule of events, visit


Indian fashion

What: Be dazzled at the elaborate, colorful craftsmanship behind Indian fashion at UCarnival. Expect lines of Patiala salwar kameez, wedding sarees and more.

When: Noon-9 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Bonanza Inn Magnuson Grand Yuba City Hotel, 1001 Clark Ave., Yuba City

Cost: Free



Women in art

What: Throughout the month, the San Francisco Main Library is celebrating female artists with live demos. On Friday, the special guest is Jenifer Martinez, who creates whimsical T-shirts and steampunk jewelry. On March 28, see Simone Guimaraes and her organic style of using recycled items.

When: 1-3 p.m. Friday and March 28

Where: 100 Larkin St., San Francisco

Cost: Free



Women’s expo

What: For the 12th year, women of all ages will descend on the Reno-Sparks Convention Center for a weekend of fashion, networking, entertainment and more. Exhibitors come from all over the country, and the stage schedule is slotted with blood pressure checks, leadership presentations, children’s art performances and health talks, among other presenters.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. next Sunday

Where: Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia St., Reno

Cost: $7



Boat safety

What: Curious about the world of boating? Or in need of a refresher? Consider “America’s Boating Course,” a weekly boat safety course offered by the Sacramento Power Squadron.

When: 7-9 p.m. Mondays through April 28

Where: The Century 21 Select Training Center, 7919 Pebble Peach Drive, Suite 206, Citrus Heights

Cost: $50

Information: Reserve by calling Jim at (916) 782-1240

– Bee staff