Win a Limo Trip to Marin County for a Tour of America’s Oldest Operating Cheese Maker
We’ve partnered with Marin French Cheese Co., an award winning artisan cheese maker, to offer a tour of their facility and of one of Sonoma’s local wineries.
How does a beautiful fall day filled with locally crafted, artisan cheeses from Marin French Cheese Co., a gourmet harvest lunch and a tour of a gorgeous Sonoma winery sound? What if we told you a limo would take you and three of your favorite people to these places on Thursday, October 7th, and all you have to do to take advantage of this offer is enter to win our latest contest? We bet you’d take a simple quiz to be entered to win!
We’ve partnered with Marin French Cheese Company, makers of the award-winning Rouge et Noir Triple Crème Brie (it’s free this week with your coupon when you spend $30+) to bring you this day-dream-perfect opportunity. Keep reading to learn more (some answers are in this article!) and then follow the link below to enter to win!
“Maxx and I developed this tour as a way for us to say thank you to our customers for their loyalty to us and to Marin French Cheese Company’s cheeses,” said John Nava, specialty foods buyer for Sigona’s. “The tour prize is not to miss. The cheese company’s grounds are absolutely beautiful and the opportunity to learn more about America’s oldest cheese producer, where they still make artisan cheeses by hand in small batches, is a prize we’re excited to offer.”
Marin French Cheese Co. was established in 1865, is America’s oldest operating cheese factory, and is the source of America’s most decorated hand-made cheeses, including Bries, Camembert and Chevre. Located in Petaluma, which is nestled in the heart of Sonoma wine country, Marin French Cheese Company sits on a 700 acre ranch, complete with public picnic areas, space for company BBQs and their own mineral-enriched, rain-water filled ponds, which the company uses as its main water source so they aren’t dependent on municipal water. The company welcomes more than 150,000 visitors and tourists a year!
The company got its big break shortly after it was founded there was a need for a cheese to be served to the dock workers in Yerba Buena, which is now San Francisco, because of the thousands of gold mine workers who went bust. The former mine workers infiltrated the docks, looking for work, so the locals began making food to feed the men. Jefferson A. Thompson, the then owner of the company, produced a cheese that set in 48 hours and could be delivered to the bars in 72 hours. They called it the Breakfast Cheese as the dock workers ate it for breakfast and washed it down with a pint of beer. Marin French Cheese Co. makes Breakfast Cheese to this day as the delicately soft cheese with its old-fashioned ripened butter flavor is still a local favorite to pair with jelly and toast.
Until recently, Marin French Cheese Co. focused exclusively on Brie, Camembert, Breakfast Cheese and Schloss, a flavorful golden cheese that’s a cheese lover’s delight. With the advancing sophistication of consumer palates, the company has expanded its offerings, and now features different sizes and varieties including blues, triple crème Bries, mixed milk cheeses, flavored Bries (think pesto and garlic) and more.
Their Rouge et Noir Triple Crème Brie – the one you can get free with your coupon – was introduced eight years ago, and quickly became known worldwide as the cheese that beat the French. This Brie took top honors at the 2005 World Cheese Awards in an international blind tasting competition featuring Brie cheeses from around the world.
Marin French Cheese Co. sources 100 percent of its milk locally from Chileno Valley. “It’s one of the best dairy areas in all of Sonoma,” said Maxx Sherman, president of Marin French Cheese Co. “The milk comes from an area with the right terroir; it’s nestled in a little valley that draws in the morning fog, but gets nice sun during the day.”
As for the cheese making process, Sherman says, “All cheeses are pasteurized and we use 100 percent BST-free cows and use Jersey cow milk because of its flavor and high solids content. Then we use specific cultures and non-animal rennet to create different flavor profiles. From there it’s a variation of size and aging. All our cheeses are handmade and hand-packed.”
We’ve carried cheeses from Marin French Cheese Co. for five years and have built quite a loyal fan base among customers, especially with the opening of our new cheese shop at our Palo Alto location.
“Marin French Cheese Company’s Rouge et Noir triple crème Brie has a distinctively different flavor which I think makes it the best domestic Brie there is,” said Nava. “Maxx and I work together every year to do a nice sale for our customers, such as the disks of Brie for $3.99, regularly $10.99 ea., and this year we took it a step further to make the deal a little sweeter with the tour.”
Winners will win a limo ride for four, set for Thursday, October 7, to the cheese company. They’ll receive an exclusive tour of the original aging cellars built in 1865, a flight of about nine cheeses, a harvest lunch featuring local wines and a tour of a local winery or two before the return limo ride back to Sigona’s in Redwood City.
“Not only do we see this as a way to show more people our facility, grounds and what it takes to make handmade artisan cheeses, but as a way to show off our neighborhood,” said Sherman. “Many visitors leave with a new appreciation of the agricultural benefits Marin County has to offer. For example, there are nine cheese manufacturers within 10 miles of us.”