This year’s Sonoma County Harvest Fair professional food winners include four Petaluma businesses, all honored with Double Gold medals in the dairy category, no surprise considering Petaluma’s agricultural background.
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair uses a Danish system of judging, which considers each item individually. If judges deem necessary, multiple gold medals may be awarded per category. Entries were awarded Best of Show, double gold medals, gold medals, silver rosettes or bronze rosettes.
Among the Double Gold winners in the Natural Rind division was Wierauch Farm & Creamery from Petaluma for Saint Rose Aged Sheep Cheese. Clover Stornetta Farms took home a Double Gold in the Rindless, Aged Cheese Division for its Clover Organic Pepper Jack.
Best of Show Other Dairy Product was awarded to McClelland’s Dairy in Petaluma for its European Style Organic Butter. They also took home a Double Gold for this entry in the Butter, Non Cultured (Sweet) division.
Janna McClelland of McClelland Dairy commented that, “The Harvest Fair is an important part of Sonoma County as it recognizes that there is a variety of high quality food that is produced in the county. We are honored to live in such a beautiful area that also has an abundant amount of agriculture diversity. By entering in the Harvest Fair we are showcasing what we offer on our sustainable, organic farm and helping to spread the word about the great products throughout the county.”
Two Double Golds went to Spring Hill Jersey Cheese for ice cream, made at the Petaluma Creamery. The flavors were Blackberry Swirl and Lavender.
Tasting and judging the dairy division, especially the ice creams is a tough job, but someone had to do it. This year’s hard-working, and lucky, judges were Gordon Edgar of Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco; Colette Hatch from Oliver’s Market in Santa Rosa and Erna Andre, Bodega Bay cheesemaker.
This year’s Harvest Fair takes place at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Oct. 4-6. Admission is free and includes cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars, educational presentations and the World Championship Grape Stomp. Entrance to the Tasting Pavilion is $50 per person; or $90 for two and features medal-winning wine and food from this year’s professional competition, local beers and ciders. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m., with the Tasting Pavilion open from 5-8 p.m. Gates open Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6 at noon with tasting from 1-4 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit harvestfair.org.