This spectacular table setting was at Bricoleur. Brie–co–leur comes from the French bricolage, which loosely means “something constructed from available materials.”
In English, one might say “cobbled together.” But in French, the expression can denote a compliment, as it includes concepts of improvisation and ingenuity.
These positive qualities were on display at Bricoleur Vineyards and event center in Windsor, where Beth and Mark Hanson, along with daughter and COO Sarah, created a beautiful winery from a former equestrian facility. The bricolage of wine, food and hospitality is a local treat.
On Saturday morning, the two magnificent tables above were set for a cheese seminar, part of Sonoma County’s Artisan Cheese Festival. In 2018, the festival moved from Petaluma to its present location at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.
Events during the week include guided tours of area cheesemakers, farm and dairy operations; cheese seminars; and Sunday’s gathering of cheese, food, wine and beer vendors at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
Fun facts and cheeses sampled at Bricoleur:
- Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove Chevre (goat’s milk)
- Mt. Tam by Cowgirl Creamery (cow’s milk, double cream and triple cream cheeses have a minimum of 60 and 75% butterfat content, respectively)
- Vintage Boont Corners by Pennyroyal Farm (cow’s milk brined in the Tomme style)
- Atika by Tomales Creamery (sheep and goat milk blend in the Tomme style)
- Golden Gate by Marin French Cheese Company (cow’s milk, triple cream hand-washed with brine)
- Original Blue by Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company (cow’s milk inoculated with microbial rennet)
Farmstead cheese means cheese made at the dairy. The cheese companies above were all founded by women, appropriate for Women’s History Month.
Check out California’s Cheese Trails for more fabulous cheese makers, including: Achadinha Cheese Company, Andante Cheese, Bellwether Farms, Bohemian Creamery, Laura Chenel (marinated cheese), Joe Matos Cheese, Petaluma Creamery, Double 8 Dairy (water buffalo), Ramini Mozzarella, Spring Hill Jersey Cheese, Tomales Farmstead Creamery, Valley Ford Cheese and Creamery, Vella Cheese and Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers.
Next time when sampling cheese—take a beat from the wine and cheese and crackers and chatter. Pause. Experience the taste, texture, center, rind. Experience mindfully. Make these artisans happy, while experiencing the treat of the unique sensations found in artisanal cheeses.