NEW! 2017 Basque Country Cheese Tour
Join Jeanne Carpenter of Wisconsin Cheese Originals for this custom-made, 20-person tour exploring the ancient cheese making traditions of the Basque Country in the French Pyrenees and northern Spain. Visit and tour six Basque Country cheese factories, a Txakoli winery, the Asturias Coast, stay in boutique hotels and spend an entire day exploring San Sebastian, the most popular foodie city in the world. Dates: Sept 21-30, 2017. Price: $3,995 per person, includes hotel accommodations, tours, tastings & meals, and private transportation while in-country. Airfare is additional. Reserve your spot with a $1,100 deposit. Click here to view trip brochure. Note: there is only one seat remaining on this tour.
In 2016, Cheese Geek Jeanne Carpenter and PBS television show Wisconsin Foodie paired up to host a cheese tour in the Driftless region of Wisconsin. The tour met at Metcalfe’s Market in Madison for a pre-tour cheese tasting, and then headed to Roelli Cheese for a tour of Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli’s cheese factory and aging cellars. Then it was off to Hook’s Cheese in Mineral Point, for a tour and tasting of Hook’s Cheddars and Blue. After a traditional Cornish Pasty lunch at Walker’s Point, the tour motored to Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, where Master Cheesemaker Bob Wills showed off his factory and Living Machine, a a working ecosystem using natural microbes and a collection of hydroponic plants to process washwater into clean water that is discharged into Honey Creek.
Past Tour: Wisconsin Cheddar
In 2015, author Gordon Edgar and cheese geek Jeanne Carpenter led an all-day tour to the heart of Wisconsin Cheddar country to celebrate the release of Gordon’s new book: Cheddar: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Most Iconic Cheese. Attendees met at Larry’s Market in Brown Deer for coffee and cheese strata and then traveled north for a tour of Henning’s Cheese in Kiel, the only cheese factory in America still making Mammoth Cheddar wheels. Then it was off to LaClare Farms, a farmstead goat dairy crafting raw milk goat cheddar and award-winning American originals. Attendees toured the farm and enjoyed lunch at the creamery. In the afternoon, the group enjoyed a tour and Cheddar talk with Master Cheesemaker Joe Widmer at his third-generation family cheese factory, Widmer’s Cheese Cellars. The evening concluded with a dinner and cheddar tasting at destination Italian restaurant Trattoria Stefano in Sheboygan.
Past Tour: Alpine Cheesemakers of Switzerland
In 2015, 20 lucky tour attendees toured and tasted the finest cheese, chocolate and wines of Switzerland. A highlight of the trip was witnessing traditional morning milking of cows in an Alpine barn and participating in cheesemaking over an open fire in a mountain chalet. Attendees also visited several cheese factories, including a small farmstead goat dairy, an Emmentaler factory and a Gruyere factory. Evenings featured both fondue and Raclette dinners, and participants toured medieval castles, stayed in the historic walled village of Gruyeres, walked on a glacier at 14,000 feet, visited mountain peaks on trains, trams and funicular railways, and spent a night in Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn.
Past Tour: Cheeses of Northern Italy
In 2013, 20 cheese enthusiasts joined Jeanne Carpenter for a once-in-a-lifetime small-group trip to the Piemonte and Lombardia Regions in Northern Italy. The group visited six cheese makers, including a water buffalo dairy and Alpine Taleggio cheesrie and affinage house. A highlight of the trip was a two-hour personal tour of the Luigi Guffanti aging cellars in Arona, Italy, with none other than Carlo Fiore, owner and cellar master. In addition, the group toured three wineries, dined in a Michelin-starred castle, stayed in luxury hotels and spent an entire day walking the Bra Cheese Fair, one of the largest and most prestigious cheese festivals in the world.
Past Tour: Cheeses of the Driftless Region
In 2012, 20 cheese enthusiasts enjoyed a two-day overnight trip featuring custom tours and tastings at Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville, Hook’s Cheese in Mineral Point, Hidden Springs Creamery in Westby, Nordic Creamery in Westby, and Potosi Brewery. Guests enjoyed a fabulous local-foods dinner and overnight bed and breakfast stay at The Roth House and Old Oak Inn in Soldiers Grove.
Past Tour: Grand Cheese Tour of France
In 2011, 20 cheese enthusiasts joined Jeanne Carpenter for a whirlwind tour of French cheeses. Our adventure started with three days in Paris, enjoying guided tours of the city’s most famous cheese shops and tours of Montmarte, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower and many more sights in the City of Lights. We then circled south to Bordeaux to tour the enchanting Chateau de Chambord, with a tasting of famous Touraine Goat Cheese and visit to Fromage of Jean D’Alos. Then to Montpellier, along the Mediterranean Sea, with a personal tour of the Roquefort Caves, and north to Dijon for a tour of Fromagerie Gaugry and Citeaux Abbey, where monks still faithfully craft the famous Abbaye de Citeaux cheese.