A TV Personality, Magazine Writer and a British Journalist Walk into a Bar - Big Cheese Media Visit Santa Rosa for Festival
Published Wednesday, April 3, 2019 12:00 pm

The 13th annual California Artisan Cheese Festival was held at the Event Center at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds March 23-24, 2019. The festival brings together cheese enthusiasts for a weekend filled with cheese tastings, pairings, tours, seminars, a culinary competition, and cocktail and wine tastings.

After supporting promotional efforts in years past, Visit Santa Rosa worked in close partnership with festival producer Judy Walker Groverman and the festival’s public relations company, Ellipses. Visit Santa Rosa threw its full support behind the festival in 2019, as it was agreed the event was the quintessential Sonoma County wine experience, perfect for attracting tourists to Santa Rosa and promoting all there is to see, do, eat and drink in Sonoma County. The objective of Visit Santa Rosa marketing the festival was to promote Santa Rosa as a destination with the goal of increasing attendance at next year’s event.

Visit Santa Rosa co-opted promotional opportunities with Ellipses and collaborated to identify 8 Bay Area-based journalists and digital influencers and arranged attendance at the event. Included in this group was PBS television host of “Bringing It Home” Laura McIntosh. Laura attended the weekend events and will be producing an upcoming segment on the festival for her show.

Visit Santa Rosa Director of Marketing Chris Vomvolakis also hosted several high-profile journalists during the festival. From Boston, Mezzanine Magazine wine and spirits writer Becky Sue Epstein, a well-regarded editor, broadcaster and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food and travel. From the Yorkshire Post (United Kingdom) award-winning wine and travel writer, broadcaster and international wine competition judge, Christine Austin, and international foodie, blogger, social media influencer, and judge on the TV family competition series Dinner Takes All, airing on BYUtv, Eddie Zamora, aka #TheYumYumFoodie.

As part of their introduction to Santa Rosa on Friday night, Chris treated the group of media guests and influencers to world-class craft cocktails at Perch + Plow, followed by inspired food, service and sensory brilliance at Bollywood Bar & Clay oven. The group attended Sonoma County artisan cheesemaker farm tours Saturday morning, followed by a stop at the Cheese, Bites and Booze event held at the Jackson Family Wine Jet Hangar at the Sonoma County Airport Saturday evening. Sunday morning the group immersed themselves in the fun at Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace event.

Since the festival concluded the group has already logged 21 posts on their social media channels generating over 100,000 unique impressions about their memorable visit to Santa Rosa.

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