Neighbor Profile: Nicasio Valley Cheese Company

The Lafranchi family has been farming and running their dairy in the beautiful Nicasio Valley since 1919, ever since Fredolino LaFranchi immigrated from Maggia, Switzerland at the age of 17. His son Will travelled often to visit family and was greatly inspired by the cheesemaking heritage of his homeland. This led to the establishment of the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company in 2010. Working with Swiss Master Cheesemaker Maurizio Lorenzetti, the family now offers an extensive line of artisan cheese, inspired by Switzerland but imbued with the magic of California. The LaFranchi Ranch is 100% organic. Their on-site composting facility processes waste from over 3,000 free range chickens combined with waste from more than 400 cows, local equestrian waste and green waste. The compost is used to fertilize pastures. This is a pasture-based operation, meaning their cows derive the bulk of their nutrition from pasture grasses, which are managed using rotational grazing methods. The family is best known for their Foggy Morning, a cheese we all covet here at McEvoy Ranch. This is a soft, creamy, hand ladled cow’s milk cheese with a mold ripened rind and a subtle, savory, tangy flavor. It’s fantastic spread on bagels or toast; we’ve blended it with our Black Olive Tapenade for a great spread on toasted baguettes. Another favorite is their Nicasio Reserve, a classic Swiss mountain cheese that’s aged for 5 months. Smooth and rich, with notes of hazelnut, grass and cream. The Reserve on a slice of sourdough with our Evening Standard Pinot Noir is a pretty great tasting experience. We often serve Nicasio Valley cheeses with our At Our Table tastings at McEvoy Ranch. We love working with the family on finding new and interesting pairings of their cheeses and our culinary products and wines. Here’s a great video the family made about the ranch: Nicasio Valley Cheeses are available in retail outlets throughout the Bay Area. You can visit them, taste their cheeses, get a glimpse of their operation and shop their store at the ranch in Nicasio; they’re open 7 days a week, 10:00 to 5:00. It’s a beautiful drive out to Nicasio, and you can always stop at Rancho Nicasio for some great food and drink on your way to or from. Nicasio Valley Cheese Company5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio, California 94946 (415) 662-6200, [email protected]