Cheese and more
Cheese lovers will gather at the 12th annual California Artisan Cheese Festival from March 23 to 25 this year for three days of tasting, chef demos, pairings, tours and seminars.
Except for the tours, most of the weekend’s events will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, since the popular event has outgrown its former home at the Sheraton Sonoma County — Petaluma.
There are a variety of North Coast farm tours on March 23, although most have already been sold out. The Best Bite, a tribute to first responders, will be held at 6 p.m. March 23. The tasting includes cheesy best bites created by cheesemongers and chefs plus wine, beer and cider.
An array of cheese seminars will be given on March 24, with local experts ranging from cheese writer Janet Fletcher of Napa and winemaker Arnaud Weyrich of Philo’s Roederer Estate in Philo to Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma.
The popular Cheese and Cocktails event returns at 5 p.m. March 24 featuring artisan cheesemakers and distilleries. Also returning at 9:30 a.m. March 25 will be the Bubbles Brunch with a celebrity guest chef, followed at noon by the Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace. Parking is included with your ticket price, which ranges from $25 to $135.
For prices and reservations, go to artisancheesefestival.com.
Food festival at Copia
The Culinary Institute of America will team up with Food & Wine magazine to host a festival for food enthusiasts this Friday through Sunday, at the CIA at Copia.
The three-day gastronomic journey includes tastings, hands-on cooking classes and seminars and marks the opening of the new Hestan Teaching Kitchen, which will serve as home base for the center’s food enthusais and family cooking classes.
For more details, go to enthusiasts.ciachef.edu. If you miss it this time around, the festival will return July 13 to 15 and Oct. 19-21.
Crab and wine
Gary Farrel Winery will host its 12th annual Crab Dinner at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the winery’s Russian River Valley estate.
The gourmet meal paired with Gary Farrel wines includes hors d’oeuvres, a three-course menu, including a main course of whole Dungeness Crab.
Tickets are $200 and must be purchased in advance. To reserve, call 866-277-9463 or emai firstname.lastname@example.org. 10701 Westside Road.
Fans of the cool climate white wines of Mendocino will flock to the 13th annual Anderson Valley Aromatic White Wine Festival the weekend of Feb. 24 and 25 at wineries and the Mendocino County Fairgrounds.
Educational sessions, an afternoon Grand Tasting and a Winemaker Dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars will take place on Feb. 24, followed by a Sunday Winery Open House on Feb. 25.
Tickets range from $60 to $155. For prices and reservations: avwines.com.
A new wine festival, Sonoma Underground, will feature 10 to 15 small, independent producers on the evening of Feb. 24 at the cellar at Longboard Vineyards at 5 Fitch St.