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PETALUMA: Artisan Cheese Festival

The 11th annual California Artisan Cheese Festival returns to its home base, the Sheraton Sonoma County, for a weekend of cheesy activities March 24 to 26.

Highlights include artisan tours and lunches on March 24 and 25, seminars and pairing demos on March 25 with a new Artisan Cheese and Cocktail sampling plus two new Wine and Dine with the Cheesemakers events that evening.

On March 25, the popular Bubbles & Brunch kicks off the day with the Cheese Twins, Charlie and Michael Kalish, followed by the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace, featuring live cooking and entertaining demos plus 90 cheesemakers and artisan food and beverage purveyors.

For tickets and more information, go to artisancheesefestival.com.

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HEALDSBURG: New apple brandy

The recently opened Sonoma Cider Taproom & Restaurant has added handcrafted Apple Brandy cocktails to its beverage menu, including the Brandy Mule, the Randy Sidebar and the Hot Buttered Apple Bottom.

The cocktails are made from Sonoma Cider’s Apple Brandy, which was inspired by the Calvados brandy of France. The brandy is made from organic apples sourced from the Pacific Northwest, which are fermented until dry, double distilled and aged for a year in American-oak casks.

“The apple brandy shines bright on its own, but we are excited to now have the opportunity to experiment and create cocktails using this smooth spirit,” said Robert Cordtz, co-founder of Sonoma Cider with his father, David Cordtz.

Sonoma Cider Apple Brandy is available in 2-ounce pours for $8 at the taproom. Sealed, 375-milliliter bottles are available for $34.95 at sonomacider.com. 44 B Mill St., Healdsburg. 707-723-7018.

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NAPA: Mondavi on board

The Napa Valley Wine Train will host Peter Mondavi Jr. of Charles Krug winery aboard its private reserve train at 6:30 p.m. March 25 for a special, culinary and wine adventure.

Passengers will enjoy a four-course feast with wine pairings that they can discuss with Mondavi while relaxing in the luxury train car.

Tickets start at $269 per person. To reserve: 800-427-4124. winetrain.com.

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PETALUMA: New Bellwether yogurt

Bellwether Farms has launched the Bellwether Farms Organic Yogurt, its first-ever yogurt made with Jersey cow milk.

The heart-healthy, protein-packed yogurt comes in six flavors: strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, spiced apple, Madagascar vanilla and plain.

The cow’s milk yogurt is a companion to the popular sheep yogurt the dairy is known for. The yogurt comes in 5.3-ounce cups and a four-pack of 3.75-ounce cups. Bellwetherfarms.com.

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PENNGROVE: Bud’s Meats wins awards

Bud’s Custom Meats of Santa Rosa won several top awards in the California Association of Meat Processors’ Cured and Processed Meats Championships held at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo last month.

Bud’s won Grand Champion awards for its Hickory Smoked Bacon, Sweet Maple Pork Bacon, Smoked Cowboy Beef Jerky and Lamb Merguez sausage with Red Wine.

Champion awards went to its Sweet Maple Smoked Turkey, Old-fashioned Beef Frankfurters and Nacho Dog.

Bud’s Custom Meats is located at 7750 Petaluma Hill Road. 707-795-8402.

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YOUNTVILLE: Yountville Live

A blend of world-class music, food and wine comes to Yountville this Thursday through Sunday, March 16 to 19, with the return of Yountville Live.

The highlights include Taste of Yountville, from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at four tasting pavilions throughout town. The weekend concludes at 11 a.m. Sunday with a Bubbles Brunch and live music by Johnnyswim.

For ticket information and reservations, go to yountvillelive.com.

Staff writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @dianepete56.

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