Exciting news, cheese peeps! If your lifelong dream has been to tour three cheddar cheese factories, eat lunch on a goat farm, enjoy dinner at a swanky Italian restaurant, and ride a bus with an acclaimed cheesemonger author, than I am about to make all of your dreams come true.

On Friday, October 23, my friend and author Gordon Edgar (of Cheesemonger fame) is coming to America’s Dairyland to celebrate the October release of his new book: Cheddar: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Most Iconic Cheese.

To celebrate, Gordon and I are going to lead an all-day tour to the heart of Wisconsin Cheddar country. We’ll meet at Larry’s Market in Brown Deer at 8:30 am to talk Cheddar with co-owners Steve Ehlers and Patty Peterson.

Then we’ll board our private coach bus and drive north for an exclusive tour of Henning’s Cheese in Kiel, the only cheese factory in America still making Mammoth Cheddar wheels. We’ll tour the factory, talk shop with Master Cheesemaker Kerry Henning, visit their charming retail store, eat some cheese, and get back on the bus.

Mammoth Cheddar Wheels at Henning’s Cheese

Next stop: famous LaClare Farms, a farmstead goat dairy crafting raw milk goat cheddar and award-winning American originals, including the 2011 U.S. Champion Cheese, Evalon. We’ll tour the goat farm on a tractor and wagon with farm patriarch Larry Hedrich,  enjoy lunch in the creamery, prepared especially for us by farm chef Jim McIntoshk, and do a little shopping in the farm retail store.

Then it’s south to Theresa, this time for a tour and Cheddar talk with Master Cheesemaker Joe Widmer at his third-generation family cheese factory, Widmer’s Cheese Cellars. Joe and his son, Joey, are making some of the best Cheddar in the country, and we’ll hear from the dynamic duo on their secrets to success.

Master Cheesemaker Joe Widmer making cheese.

The evening concludes with a four-course dinner and cheddar tasting at destination Italian restaurant Trattoria Stefano with chef and owner Stefano Viglietti in Sheboygan, along with a Cheddar tasting and talk with Chris Gentine, of The Artisan Cheese Exchange and founder of Deer Creek Cheeses, including such award-winning cheddars as Deer Creek The Fawn, The Stag and The Doe. We’ll be back to Larry’s Market by 8 pm.

On the bus in between stops, Gordon will entertain us with readings from his favorite chapters of his new Cheddar book. At the end, all tour attendees will receive their very own autographed copy!

Larry Hedrich giving a tour in the dairy
goat barn.

Cost for this Cheddar extravaganza is just $149 per person and includes:

•    Round trip coach bus transportation from Brown Deer to all tour stops
•    Lunch on the farm at LaClare Farms
•    Dinner and Cheddar tasting at Trattoria Stefano
•    Autographed hard-cover copy of Gordon Edgar’s new Cheddar book, to be released Oct. 5

This tour is limited to 30 attendees, and is already half sold out. Book your spot early at: www. WisconsinCheeseOriginals.com. I look forward to seeing you on the bus!