Oregon Magazine

Popular annual celebration is hosted by Rogue Creamery
Fifth Annual Oregon Cheese Festival Dishes up Delicious Events

Central Point, Ore. - (Jan. 28, 2009) - Oregon-inspired culinary events, including a Meet the Winemakers and Cheesemaker Dinner and a farmer’s market-style artisan food and wine festival, will kick off with the Oregon Cheese Festival during the second weekend in March.
At the festival on Saturday March 14th, thousands of visitors will sample cow, sheep and goat cheese from Oregon and northern California creameries, including Fraga Farm, Juniper Grove Farm, Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Oregon Gourmet Cheeses, Silver Falls Creamery, Siskiyou Crest Dairy, Tillamook County Creamery, Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Fern’s Edge Dairy, Rivers Edge Chevre, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Cypress Grove , Vella Cheese, Rogue Creamery, and many others.

Held under a giant tent at Rogue Creamery's Central Point facility, the fifth annual festival will invite guests to shake hands with cheesemakers.   "The farmer's market format will present an interactive experience between artisans and visitors, giving everyone an opportunity to talk about the product, the process and learn each individual cheesemaker's story," says David Gremmels, owner with Cary Bryant of Rogue Creamery. "It's a way to truly be connected with the source of the cheese being presented."

Other culinary artisans who are expected to participate include Lillie Belle Farms, Dagoba Organic Chocolate, Gary West Meats, Rising Sun Farms, Applegate Valley Artisan Breads, Butte Creek Mill, Pennington Farms, Slagle Creek Vineyards, Paschal Winery, Madrone Mountain Vineyard, Eden Vale Winery, Valley View Winery, Agate Ridge Vineyard, Daisy Creek Vineyard, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, Deux Chats Bakery, Dry Soda, Cascade Peak Spirits and Rogue Ales.
Samples and sales will be offered at each booth. Festival music will be provided by Michelle Scheffler and Bruno Grassi, and children are invited to participate in the event's annual coloring contest, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Oregon.

To commence the festival, a sumptuous meal introducing guests to participating artisans will be held at the historic U.S. Hotel Ballroom at the Jacksonville Inn in Jacksonville Friday night, March 13th from 6:15 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. The dinner is for the benefit of the Oregon Cheese Guild (http://www.oregoncheeseguild.org/). “The event will give the public a chance to have an intimate conversation with the experts at an elegant dinner at the Jacksonville Inn prepared by Chef Platon Mantheakis and his culinary team," says Gremmels.
Each course will spotlight a cheese made by one of the festival's artisans paired with a local wine. Throughout the meal, celebrated cheese columnist and author Janet Fletcher will act as emcee and join the winemakers and cheesemakers in discussing the showcase dishes. Fletcher and Kate Arding, founder of Culture Magazine, will lead festival-goers through Oregon cheese and wine sensory experiences during the Saturday event. "On Friday afternoon, cheesemakers will collaborate to create the greatest cheese plate imaginable," says Gremmels. The phenomenal result will greet guests at the evening's commencement dinner. 
The Oregon Cheese Festival will be open to the public Saturday, March 14th from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rogue Creamery, 311 North Front St, Central Point, OR.   A $5 entry fee includes tastings and demonstrations. A $5 wine tasting fee includes a commemorative wine glass etched with the Oregon Cheese Guild logo. Tickets to the dinner are $70 per person, and are available by calling 866 -396-4704. For more information contact Rogue Creamery at 866-396-4704 or www.roguecreamery.com

The festival would not be possible without the generous support of the City of Central Point, the Medford Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Dairy Farmers of Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department and the members of Oregon Cheese Guild.