Sonoma County Vineyard

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First trip to Vella Cheese Co.

I've been eating Vella Cheese, specifically the Dry Jack, for several years now. It's made right here in Sonoma and they have a retail shop about a mile from our house just off the plaza. I'm not sure why I never ventured to it, but I finally did today.

Maybe for some of you going to a cheese shop may not be a big deal, but for me it was huge. I've really grown to love different kinds of cheese (paired with wines, of course) and this particular cheese goes with almost any wine - a true versatile wonder.

I know them for this Dry Jack (pictured below), but they also produce high moisture Jack, Cheddar and some Italian style cheeses too.

Vella was started in 1931 by "Tom" Vella and is still in the family. They pretty much make cheese the same way they did back then. I talked with one of the "Vella" family members for a little while about the cheese, she had some great information.

The shop is small and rustic. It's situated at the front of an old stone building that was built in 1906. It was like a time-warp going in there. The staff member and the family member I talked with were knowledgeable, friendly and genuinely seemed happy to see me. That is hard to find.

Hopefully next time I go I can get a behind the scenes tour, we'll see. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy this cheese with many of the different wines I'll be drinking.


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