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Cowgirl Creamery is a company located in Point Reyes Station, California, which manufactures artisanal cheeses. Founded in 1994, the company both manufactures its own cheeses (including Red Hawk and Mt. Tam, named after Mount Tamalpais)[1] and sells other imported and domestic cheese.[2] The company operates storefronts in the Ferry Building of San Francisco and in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (founders Sue Conley and Peggy Smith are D.C. natives) until the end of 2013.[3] Smith worked for years in the kitchen at Chez Panisse, and the restaurant is among many Bay Area establishments to incorporate Cowgirl cheeses into its menu.[4] Cowgirl Creamery was referenced in an episode of the popular TV sitcom "Will & Grace" (Episode 06.01 Dames at Sea) in the scene where "Will" is trying to ease the mind of "Jack" in suspicions of a drunken rendezvous with each other.

Cowgirl crafts their own cheeses using organic milk from the neighboring Straus Family Creamery. Mt. Tam, a triple-cream similar to Explorateur, and Red Hawk, a triple-cream, washed rind, unctuous cheese, are the more well known of their aged cheeses, but the company also makes Pierce Point, St. Pat, and Devil's Gulch on a seasonal basis. Only two of their aged cheeses are in a slightly different format. Inverness looks like an aged goat cheese but is actually made with cow's milk, and Wagon Wheel, which is a firmer cheese, is made in 25-pound wheels. Their aged cheeses are named after landmarks or other features local to the Marin Headlands. Cowgirl makes fresh cheeses, a clabbered cottage cheese, a fromage blanc, a crème fraiche, and Niloufer's Panir, which is named for chef Niloufer Ichaporia King. They make an unpublicized aged cheese, S.F Drake, which is the same size and shape as the Mt Tam, but is washed in Muscat wine and topped with macerated currants and has a stronger, sweeter flavor.


Their cheeses include the following:

Aged cheeses[]

  • Mt. Tam, named for Mt. Tamalpais which is near their base. It is considered to be Cowgirl Creamery's "signature cheese."
  • Devil's Gulch, a cheese similar to the seasonal cheeses listed below, named for a ravine along the base of Mt. Barnaby. The cheese is dusted with red peppers.
  • Inverness, a cheese with a surface ripened rind
  • Pierce Pt., a seasonal cheese, available only in the fall and winter, washed in a muscato wine and rolled in dried herbs from the Tomales Bay coastal region
  • Red Hawk, a washed rind cheese
  • St. Pat, a seasonal cheese, available only in the spring, which gets a flavor by being wrapped in stinging nettle leaves
  • Wagon Wheel, billed as an "everyday" cheese

Fresh cheeses[]

  • Clabbered Cottage Cheese
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Fromage blanc, made with whole milk rather than cream, thus billed as a low-fat cheese


External links[]