When I’m behind the cheese counter at Cowgirl Creamery, customers often ask how cheese is made and what goes into making it so delicious. Cheese-focused travel allows people to see where the product comes from and to ask those questions in person—here are some different ways to plan your trip.
Anna Juhl, a former cheese shop owner, launched Cheese Journeys in 2013. Her custom tours are designed for food enthusiasts and professionals to deepen their knowledge of artisan products and trends, while connecting with producers and other food lovers. Having cultivated long-term relationships with cheesemakers around the globe, Juhl is able to provide one-of-a-kind experiences that would likely evade solo travelers on their own, like staying at family farms and mingling with cheesemakers over chef-prepared feasts. In 2019, Juhl and her team will guide tours in Italy, Amsterdam, France, Vermont, North Carolina, and the Pacific Northwest.
There are shorter regional tour options, too. One highlight is the Cheese Lover’s Tour from California’s Farm and Food Tours, which offers culinary adventures that connect guests to the unique food culture of Marin and Sonoma counties: think farm-to-table tasting excursions and baby goat cuddling sessions.
And for all you independent-minded travelers, self-guided cheese tours abound thanks to the work of cheese guilds around the county. Follow the Vermont Cheese Trail around the hills of the Green Mountains; wind around the lakes of Upstate New York on the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail; or plan the ultimate West Coast road trip around the California Cheese Trail—you’ll find there’s no better way to experience a new region than through the lens of cheese.