Pennyroyal Farms provides the ultimate wine and cheese experience
Are you looking for the ultimate foodie moment? Have you stopped by Pennyroyal Farms yet to try their farmstead goat and sheep cheeses and their luscious wines? Have you gone on their farm tour? Well, you should. Seriously, go do it. Now. Your taste buds will thank you.
We went on their farm tour recently, which ends with a small pairing of some of their wines and cheeses, and we decided we have to take our family next time they’re in town. Because it was seriously that much fun. Plus, they have a small yet mighty seasonal lunch and snack menu that just wouldn’t let us leave without some extra sampling. We also had a hard time restraining ourselves when we saw all the tasty house-made goodies they have available to go with their handmade cheese in the gift shop… let’s just say that the one shopping bag we brought with us was VERY full when we walked out the door.
Before we got to taste even a single sip of wine or nibble of cheese, we could tell it was going to be good. During the tour, every step, every view, every word of our lovely guide plainly showed the passion for quality that drives the owners of Pennyroyal. A dynamic duo of young women fiercely committed to sustainability and excellence, friends Sarah and Erika are continually seeking out new ways to improve their own farm and vineyard and the agricultural community as a whole. Their state of the art barn is both innovative and built to last. Their milking parlor was tailor-made to suit their small-batch approach to farmstead cheesemaking. They use sheep for both weed control and fertilization in their vineyards. A “Chicken Palace” on wheels brings their resident chickens wherever help is needed to control insect pests (plus those happy birds provide some stellar eggs!) Strategically placed ponds reclaim rain water to use for the vines and seasonal vegetable garden. Excess whey from the cheesemaking process is given to local pig farmers as fresh, organic feed.
After petting a few of the happy, healthy goats – all 100+ of which herd manager Erika actually knows by name! – and drooling over the cheeses ripening in the creamery, we finished our tour and sat down to our elegant tasting board of cheese and wine. The pairings were perfect.
We started off with the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and the Laychee, a super soft fresh goat cheese even more velvety than your typical Chevre. What a combo. Wow. The light, bright Sauv Blanc and the pillow-like gentleness of the Laychee together was almost like that moment when happy morning sunshine starts to wake you from a pleasant dream. Except it was no dream! Next up was the aged Boont Corners with their 2016 Chardonnay, and then the younger version of the Boont Corners with the 2016 Pinot. So tasty. Both vintages of the cheese reminded us of a more refined aged cheddar, and we can’t even describe how well the wines complemented them. Needless to say, it was delicious.
By the time the tasting was over, our salivary glands were going full throttle, and our taste buds were begging for more. Besides, it was more or less lunch time, so we grabbed their seasonal snack and lunch menu and ordered ourselves just a little bit extra to tide us through until our next meal…
Now, we always recommend a day in the Anderson Valley if you stay with us for a couple of nights, and we do have a couple golden wineries that routinely make our list of favorites. However, after our delightful foodie experience at Pennyroyal Farms, these guys might just be ready to push their way to the top of that list. Seriously, with this much dedication to quality and downright goaty wholesomeness, how could they not?
Written by Laura Hockett