Humboldt County

If you haven’t made the five-hour trek north of San Francisco, us Grovers would like you to know that you’re missing out on some of the best that Northern California has to offer.

Humboldt County is a special place that is well worth a visit. Winding stretches of Highway 101 take visitors through the "Redwood Curtain," leaving the chaotic thrum of big cities far behind.

Terroir is a "sense of place," referring to subtle local influences in the flavor of food and wine. In the European sense of the term, terroir is not magic but a formula, a well-defined tradition that is the result of clear choices, hard work, and cooperation between regulatory authorities and local growers and producers.

What is the "sense of place" that influenced a single mother to create some of the best goat cheese in the world? Well, stunning vistas, moist air, little to no traffic, and very few people. Humboldt County is in the northern most reaches of California, where the county’s 2.3 million acres are 80 percent forestlands, protected redwoods, and recreation areas.

Humboldt County is a place where the legend of Bigfoot is alive and well, the annual Oyster Fest draws 20,000 people, and the Kinetic Grand Championship takes over Memorial Day weekend. Locals enjoy swimming, rafting, and fishing the six incredibly clean rivers running through the county. Beach culture includes agate hunting, clam digging, and long bundled-up walks on miles of sandy beaches.

Humboldters live at a different pace than most of the country. They enjoy the beautiful green landscape that can only thrive in a place that averages over 100 inches of rain per year in some locations, and maintains some of the most consistent and stable temperatures in the country. For us, the fog is both a friend and foe. In the summer months, passenger flights are consistently cancelled due to foggy conditions, but the fog also provides a constant water source for the tallest redwood trees in the world. We think it is a worthy trade off, but invite you to visit us and judge for yourself.

Credits: The definition of terroir is from Real California Cheese. Original description from "The Art of Flavor Development in Cheese" study by the California Milk Advisory Board. Humboldt County statistics and information adapted from