New Café at Valley Ford Creamery

Carey Sweet

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Estero Gold and Highway 1 are very popular, the Sonoma County crafted cheeses can be seen on many menus including  Rocker Oysterfeller’s and of course, Estero Café, both in Valley Ford.

interior image of shelving with products on them in Valley Ford Cheese and Creamery in Sonoma County

Now, Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery has opened a café of their own. Set in the tiny town of Valley Ford, it’s the work of third, fourth, and fifth-generation dairy-people the Bianchi family, tracing back to founders Pietro and Maria Bianchi who established the property in 1918. The new, 5,500-square-foot, dine-in operation boasts bites from a skilled chef, pastries from an in-house baker, picnic foods, and wine and beer served at a small bar, all overlooking cheese aging rooms.

cheese platter at Valley Ford Creamery in Sonoma County

And of course, you can buy your fill of cheese, including the asiago-like Estero Gold with its six-month aged, creamy, buttery character. There’s also the drier, parmesan-like, 18-month aged Estero Gold Reserve with its signature little granular “crunchies” known as crystals; the Highway One old-style Fontina with silky texture and nutty flavor; and the new cheese on the block, the Grazin' Girl rustic gorgonzola style delight. All the cheeses are courtesy of the happy, grass fed pastured cows on the family’s nearby, 640-acre ranch.

panini with vegetables at Valley Ford Creamery in Sonoma County

Menu items change frequently with the seasons and chef’s whims, but bites might include harissa-spiced, mustard kissed deviled eggs, warm cheese Danish, housemade porchetta and Highway One tucked between Forestville’s Nightingale bread, and certainly, cheese plates. Focaccia studded with Grazin’ Girl blue and figs has been a popular autumn savory, while grilled cheese sandwiches are best-sellers, too, in recipes like fontina with rosemary ham and kimchi served with a choice of garden pickles, potato salad or house potato chips with aioli.

deviled eggs on a plate at Vealley Ford Creamery in Sonoma County

Also try the delectable mac ‘n’ cheese of campanelle pasta with fontina, celery root, panizzera sausage, brussels sprouts and celery leaves; the tuna melt; pulled pork sliders; and meatballs.

To finish: soft-serve ice cream.

Details: 14390 Valley Ford Road, Valley Ford, 707-293-5636,