Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) is creating the cheese experience of a lifetime for food fanatics from across the country with this fall’s Art of Cheese Festival. This signature showcase of specialty and artisan Wisconsin cheese is poised to be unlike any other cheese fest on the planet. Thousands of cheese enthusiasts will take part in nearly two dozen ticketed events and opportunities hosted September 29 to October 1.
Beyond highlighting world-class, award-winning products made in Wisconsin, the Art of Cheese Festival serves up the immersive experiences highly influential consumers crave. The DFW team poured years of market research into developing plans that appeal to a core segment of the national cheese audience. Food fanatics frequently travel to dining destinations — whether it is a new restaurant across town or a culinary event across the country. They amplify experiences to a wider audience through word of mouth and social sharing.
Each event is designed to call on the knowledge of industry experts and uniquely Wisconsin settings to elevate perceptions of Wisconsin cheese. The festival is an important way to celebrate that half of the nation’s specialty cheese is made in Wisconsin, and 95% of Wisconsin dairy farms are family owned. The schedule is packed with “cheese-lebrity” appearances and opportunities not typically available to the public.
Insider opportunities and unparalleled expertise
Art of Cheese Festival participants can purchase tickets for custom classes and seminars led by the “who’s who” of Wisconsin cheese. (Like cheeseboard-building with That Cheese Plate creator Marissa Mullen.) Restaurants across Madison will feature cheese-inspired specials throughout the week. Visitors to the popular Dane County Farmers Market can enjoy a pop-up Cheese Fair off the Square cheese marketplace. Festivities will also feature the highly anticipated Wisconsin Cheese Ball, emceed by Food Network Star Justin Warner. Five hundred lucky guests will revel in an evening of live music, food, and the opportunity to taste their way through the State of Cheese at Garver Feed Mill.
Throughout the weekend, thoughtfully planned journeys will whisk guests through several of the Wonders of Wisconsin:
- A behind-the-scenes look at Uplands Creamery and lunch with James Beard-nominated chef Luke Zahm at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin will celebrate the power of place. Pairing the agricultural and architectural gems of southwest Wisconsin offers guests an unparalleled taste of the Driftless region.
- Local heritage is the focus of a Greene County tour, where the legacy of Swiss settlers continues to influence today’s cheesemakers. That trip will feature a visit to Roth Cheese with a “Limburger Moment” at Chalet Cheese Co-op and a lunch at Seven Acre Dairy, a historic cheese plant turned boutique hotel.
Innovation is on the menu at two tours that begin at the world-renowned Center for Dairy Research. Both groups will be treated to the sensory exam, before one continues to geek out over cheese science with master cheesemakers and the other heads to J. Henry & Sons Bourbon Tasting Room & Farm. Distillery explorations will conclude with a cheese and bourbon pairing session.
Dairy generates $45.6 billion in economic impact in Wisconsin. Since 90% of Wisconsin milk is made into cheese and nearly 90% of Wisconsin cheese is sold beyond state borders, The Art of Cheese Festival invites foodies to participate in cheese culture in some of the most exciting ways possible.
Explore the epic festival lineup and subscribe for updates at: wisconsincheese.com/artofcheesefestival