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Everything Pairs with Cheese: The 14th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival

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If you’ve never taken a tour of the Rogue Creamery or tasted their certified organic cheese, can you really call yourself a Southern Oregonian? Am I right? This coming weekend is a crash course in cheese.

Come watch Sarah Kaufman, the famous “Cheese Lady” from Wisconsin, sculpt art out of giant blocks of cheese, pet adorable baby cows (future milkers), and eat your way through more than 100 vendors at the 14th annual Oregon Cheese Festival hosted by our own Rogue Creamery on March 17 and 18.

“Inspired by a sense of place for 80 years, Rogue Creamery draws from the beauty and flavors of Southern Oregon’s Rogue River Valley to create eight handcrafted blue cheese recipes, cheddar cheese and TouVelle,” Cummings said. “The certified sustainable whole milk we use to make these original blues comes from Rogue Creamery’s dairies along the banks of the rugged and scenic Rogue River. We are people dedicated to sustainability, service, and the art and tradition of creating the world’s finest handmade cheese.”

Cow, goat and sheep cheeses from creameries in Oregon and along the Pacific Northwest will be available for sampling such as popular flavors from Tillamook and Face Rock Creameries. Local wine, craft beer, ciders, artisan crafts and food will also be available such as treats from Buttercloud Bakery and wines from Ledger David Cellars. And yes, the tents are heated.

As a family friendly event, there will also be activities for children provided including face painting, coloring and games.

The Farmers Market-style event supports the Oregon Cheese Guild, a non-profit, collaborative resource for Oregon cheesemakers that creates educational opportunities and encourages awareness with events such as this.

The weekend kicks off with the annual Cheese and Wine Maker’s Dinner, Friday March 16 from 6-9 pm held at the Inn at the Commons in Medford. The dinner also supports the Oregon Cheese Guild and tickets are $125 which include a cheese reception, four-course meal, drink pairings, and gratuity. Special guest and cheese specialist Dave Gibbons will explain each course, the cheese used, and local drink pairings

“Each course will spotlight a cheese made by one of the festival’s artisans, paired with a local wine, beer or cider,” event coordinator Claira Cummings said.

Oregon Cheese Festival

11 am – 5 pm, Sat., March 17 and 11 am – 4 pm, Sun., March 18

Rogue Creamery, 311 N. Front St. (HWY. 99), Central Point

$15 a day, $20 at the door.

Beverage sampling tickets are $10.

 

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