Artisan Everything in West Marin County

By Jennifer Sweeney

EXCERPT: California is the culinary capital of the country.  In fact, last year visitors to the state spent more than $27 billion on food and beverages – that’s 28% of all visitor spending!  We’re known for – among other things – our wine, our seafood, our artisan cheeses and our farm to table produce. And that bounty is all available for a visitor to experience in West Marin County.

cowgirlWest Marin, and Point Reyes in particular, is known for its sustainable growing practices and the can-do spirit of the people who live there and have worked to make their culinary ideas come to life.  Elizabeth Hill spent her summers on Tomales Bay and turned her passion for the area’s food into a dynamic culinary tour company, West Marin Food and Farm Tours.

We started our West Marin Food and Farm Tour at Cowgirl Creamery.  If you haven’t tried their cheese, I highly recommend it.  They make a small collection of cheeses – four soft aged and three fresh – all produced with milk from local farms.  Their signature cheese is Mt. Tam, a creamy and delicious triple cream.  They also make Red Hawk, a washed rind cheese that has won several awards, the Wagon Wheel, their “everyday” cheese and a rotating seasonal offering.  The cheesemakers are passionate about their craft and their community.

Heidrun Meadery

Our next stop was one of the County’s newest residents, the Heidrun Meadery.  Gordon Hull moved his business from Arcata to Point Reyes in order to expand its production.  If you don’t know much about mead, it’s a wine made from honey – no grapes involved.  Heidrun’s sparkling varietals get their unique flavors from the produce from which the bees draw the honey, which explains flavors like Masala Carrot and California Avocado Blossom.  This was my first taste of this honey nectar and though the flavors sound unusual, the meads are light, refreshing and a nice change of pace from wine…

Cross-posted from – read the full post here.

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