CENTRAL POINT — For its debut event, Bandon’s Face Rock Creamery will offer fresh cheese curds at the ninth annual Oregon Cheese Festival in Central Point on Saturday, March 16.

Face Rock Creamery is a new member of the Oregon Cheese Guild and is bringing single-source handmade cheese to Bandon, with a 6,000-square-foot factory under construction in the same spot where the city’s former cheese factory once sat.

Single-source milk from Bob and Leonard Scolari’s Milk-E-Way dairy in Coquille is the defining trait of Face Rock Creamery cheese. What does single source milk mean to award-winning head cheesemaker Brad Sinko?

“It’s everything,” said Sinko. “It’s a cheese makers dream.”

Sinko values quality over quantity, and he’s convinced the highest quality milk comes from prize dairy cows tended by second and third generation dairymen and grazed on local pasture.

Locals interested in a taste of what will soon be available in Bandon can stop by the Central Point festival to sample curds and say hello to Sinko and Face Rock Creamery owner Gregory Drobot.

The Face Rock Creamery crew broke ground in Bandon in October 2012 and Sinko anticipates the first delivery of Milk-E-Way milk to the factory in April. The creamery will open to the public in May. Meanwhile, Sinko has started cheese production in space rented from fellow Oregon Cheese Guild member Rogue Creamery.

Drobot believes sustainable communities need sustainable industries and he’s assembled a cheese making team with vision and talent. Before joining the Face Rock team, Sinko worked for Beecher’s Handmade Cheese based in Seattle, Wash. While Sinko was head cheesemaker, Beecher’s won multiple American Cheese Society awards, including 2012 Best in Show for their Flagsheep Cheddar.

For more information about Face Rock Creamery, visit www.facerockcreamery.com.

Festival details

For the ninth year in a row, Rogue Creamery will be hosting the Annual Oregon Cheese Festival. The festival will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Rogue Creamery, 311 N Front St., Central Point, where thousands of visitors will sample cow, sheep and goat cheese from Oregon and Northern California creameries as well as fine Southern Oregon wines, beer, assorted beverages and local artisan, gourmet foods under one large, heated tent.

To commence the festival, a sumptuous meal introducing guests to participating artisan cheesemakers and winemakers will be held at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland from 6:15 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 15. Tickets are $95 per person.

Some of the festival events planned for this year include cheese classes, beer and cheese pairing demos with some of Oregon’s premier craft brewers, wine and cheese pairing with the finest winemakers from the Southern Oregon Winemaker’s Association, gifts, prizes, and kid’s activities. A $15 entry fee includes sampling and demonstrations. An additional $5 wine tasting fee includes a commemorative wine glass etched with the Oregon Cheese Guild logo.

The festival has been growing steadily every year, according to organizers. Last year there were 90 different vendors and more than 3,500 enthusiasts in one day. This year, organizers anticipate 100 vendors and approximately 4,000 guests.


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