Cheese, please! A Guide to Artisan Cheese in Santa Ynez Valley

Beyond the rolling hills of California wine country, there’s a lot of happiness spreading thanks to artisan cheese farms and shops popping up across California. A perfect match to the region’s first love, wine, the specialty of craft of artisan cheese is entering a new era in Santa Ynez Valley.

Image via matchmywine.com

Image via matchmywine.com

Artisan Cheese in Santa Ynez Valley

So what exactly is “artisan” cheese?
Artisan cheese is made by hand, using the craftsmanship skills of traditional cheese makers. It is the old-school, slow, small-scale creation of cheese.

What makes artisan cheese special?
Each artisan cheese undergoes a specific aging and ripening process in order to achieve certain aesthetics including a more developed flavor and texture. As a result, the cheeses are more complex in their taste and variety, reflecting the environment they were produced in.

Where in Santa Ynez Valley can the trend be found?
A number of businesses, including the recently opened Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company are proud carriers of artisan cheese. Here are just a few of Santa Ynez Valley’s best options:

Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company
If you’re not a cheese lover yet, owners Russ and Kristin Collins promise to make you one by the time you leave their newly opened shop! Located in downtown Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company is a new favorite among locals. Currently selling artisan cheese and cured meats, the Collins family has plans to one day produce and sell their own brand of artisan cheese thanks in large part to their own herd of sheep.
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Follow SYV Cheese Company on Facebook and read more about their journey here.

Los Olivos Grocery
The Los Olivos Grocery store is perhaps one of the best kept secrets when it comes to artisan cheese in Santa Ynez Valley. Offering an array of cheeses from around the world, the grocery store also has a cheese course available to teach you everything you need to know on how to become a connoisseur.
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The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is thrilled to play host to your California foodie adventures. From wine to cheese, our staff is prepared to help you plan the perfect outings to experience the taste of Santa Ynez Valley. Book our Santa Ynez Valley Grapeline Wine Tour Package for a carefree day in the Santa Ynez Valley hosted by a wine country insider, room accommodations and lots of foodie extras upon arrival in your room.

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