Loading...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Redwood Hill Farm tour


In the fall, Noah and I took a trip to Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. Located near Sabastapol, they are one of our best local cheese-makers. Not only have they have been producing some of the finest quality goat-milk cheese for over 40 years, but they also became the first goat dairy in the US to be “Certified Humane.” We all know the tag line, “good cheese comes from happy cows,” and while this is definitely true, good cheese also comes from happy goats, and RHF proves it!

Our tour started at the RHF Creamery where we met Jennifer Lynn Bice, owner. Jennifer has been working with goats and making great cheese pretty much all of her life. She’s passionate about it, and you can taste it in her products. RHF isn’t run solely by Jennifer - it’s a family affair with several of her siblings running different departments of the growing business. We were fortunate to have a cheese-tasting led by Jennifer’s brother, David, before we toured the creamery. We tasted everything they had to offer – fresh Chevre, California Crottin, goat feta, Gravenstein Gold (yum), and my favorite, Camellia (a Camembert-style cheese).

Our next stop was the creamery to get a look at the cheese-making process. The Redwood Hill Farm cheeses are made by hand, and with great care I might add. The facility is immaculate, the workers are friendly, and the overall vibe is just sunny and happy. My favorite part of the tour was the aging room (cave) where we saw rows and rows of cheese in varying stages of ripening. Wow!

After the creamery tour we followed David over to the farm itself to check out the goats and learn about the milking process. The place has the same relaxed, friendly vibe that the creamery had, but of course it’s even more fun to look at because of all the adorable goats – from babies, to billies, to mikers. Each type of goat had their own HUGE area to run around in, play with others, snooze in the shade, and most importantly, eat alfalfa at will. It’s easy to see why this farm is the pioneer in humane goat farming.

After filling our tummies with some of the best goat cheese I’ve tasted, Noah and I enjoyed a leisurely drive through wine country…all in all, a perfect day.