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Tastes of West Marin

West Marin offers many delicious local choices when it comes to cheese, wine and oysters.




Illustration by Stephanie Orma

Cheese

Open to the Public

1. Cowgirl Creamery: Operating in Point Reyes Station since 1997, Sue Conley and peg Smith make handcrafted cheee using local organic milk. They now have a second creamery in Petaluma. 80 Fourth Street, Point Reyes Station, 415.663.9335, cowgirlceamery.com

2. Marin French Cheese Company: Marin French has specialized in handmade brie and camembert since 1865. It is the oldest continuously operating cheese factory in America. 7500 Red Hill Road, Petaluma, 800.292.6001, marinfrenchcheese.com

3. Nicasio Valley Cheese Company: The lafranchi family makes the traditional cheeses of its Swiss homeland at an organic dairy in Nicasio. 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio, 415.662.6200, nicasiocheese.com

Open Occasionally

4. Point Reyes Farmstead: The Giacominis create classic Point Reyes Original Blue and semi-hard Point Reyes Toma with milk from their own cows. Point Reyes Farmstead offeres period tours and classes at its dairy and cheese-making facility; check theforkapointreyes.com for the schedule. 14700 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, 415.663.8880, pointreyescheese.com

5. Ramini Mozzarella: Craig Ramini incorprates water buffalo milk into his own handcrafted fresh mozzarella. Tours are available by appointment; check the website for information. 175 Gericke Road, Tomales, 415.690.6633, raminimozarella.com

6. Barinaga Ranch Farmstead: The folks behind Barinaga Ranch practice the traditional shepherding methods of their Basque ancestors in Spain. Sheep graze year-round on pastures overlooking Tomales Bay. Barinaga Ranch is open for group tours once a month on Saturdays; check the website for information. 9059 Marshall Petaluma Road, Marshall, 415.663.8638, barinagaranch.com

7. Tomales Farmstead Creamery: Based at Toluma Farms, the creamery began producing artisanal goat and sheep cheeses in April 2013. Guided tours are available the first Sunday of the month from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; email for reservations. 5488 Middle Road, Tomales, 707.878.2041, tolumafarms.com

Wine

1. Point Reyes Vineyards: The Doughty family opened the first commerical wine tasting room in marin after Prohibition. Marin County's soil and diverse microclimates provide perfect conditions to grow grapes for ultra-premium wines; rich, complex and full of flavors from the earth. 12700 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, 415.663.1011, ptreyesvineyardinn.com

2. Heidrun Meadery: Heidrun Meadery produces naturally sparking varietal meads using the traditional French méthode champenoise. Founded in 1997 in Arcata, California, the meadery relocated to a farm in Point Reyes Station in 2011. 11925 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, 415.663.9122, heidrunmeadery.com

3. Sean Thackrey Wines: Based in Bolinas. Thackrey is a pioneer when it comes to promoting California syrah. Taste his wines at Marin Sun Farms' Point Reyes Butcher Shop and Restaurant. 10905 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, 415.663.1800, marinsunfarms.com

Oysters

1. Hog Island Oyster Farm: Since 1986 Hog Island ha been open to the public, delivering an exceptional farm-to-plate oyster experience straight from the source. Come visit and savor fresh bivalves in the beautiful surroundings of Tomales Bay. 20215 Highway 1, Marshall, 415.663.9218, hogislandoysters.com

2. Tomales Bay Oyster Company: This oyster company specializes in fresh-farmed oysteres, clams and mussels from the cool, clean waters of Tomales Bay and the Pacific Northwest. 15479 Highway 1, Marshall, 415.663.1242, tomalesbayoysters.com

3. Drakes Bay Oyster Company: Everyone is welcome at Drakes Bay during business hours. The on-site retail store features freshly harvested shellfish, grass-fed beef, artichokes and other locally produced farm products. 17171 Chimney Rock Road, Inverness, 415.669.1149, drakesbayoyster.com

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