Monday, August 6, 2012

Wine & Cheese of the Week - Saintsbury & Matos Cheese Factory

Matos Cheese Factory
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Jason and I had a delicious, bacon-y brunch at Zazu the other day in Santa Rosa. I wanted to make the most of our trip up there, so we stopped at a few local dairy farms and creameries. Is it weird that this is what I call a fun day? Anyway, Matos Cheese Factory was my favorite stop. Tucked away on a dirt road, there's just a bunch of cows and a small compound of farmhouses. When you enter the tiny shop, you are greeted by rows and rows of cheese wheels and an alarm sounds to let the family know they have a customer. A sweet lady comes out and cuts you a large hunk of cheese (they only make one called St. George) and just asks you how much you want. The cheese is fantastic. Joe and Mary Matos are from the island of Sao Jorge in the Portugese Azores. Sao Jorge happens to be famous for it's delicious cheeses and when the Matos relocated to Santa Rosa in the 70's they brought their family's recipe. It's kinda like the perfect tweener cheese - not too hard and not too soft and tastes like a cross between a gruyere and parmesan and maybe a little like a havarti. Whatever it is - it's damn good.
Saintsbury Winery
Picture from
I may not be able to drink at the moment, but I'm getting pretty good at sippin' and spittin'. Not as much fun, but it's way better than nothing! Saintsbury is the best hidden gem I've found in a while and it helps that it's down the street from our house. They specialize in pinot noir and also do a nice chardonnay and syrah. Love how they do their tastings out in their beautiful garden so you can just kick back and take your time.
Our favorites of the day:

2008 Brown Ranch Chardonnay - $40
2009 Lee Vineyard Pinot Noir - $45
2009 Toyon Farm Pinot Noir - $45
2009 Cerise Vnyd Anderson Valley Pinot Noir - $45
2008 Rodgers Creek Carneros Syrah - $40

We also really liked:

2010 Carneros Chardonnay - $25
2009 Carneros Pinot Noir - $30
2008 Brown Ranch Pinot Noir - $60

They are by appointment, so make sure you give them a call before stopping by!