Our ranch is just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, in coastal west Marin County. We have scheduled ranch tours at least one Saturday per month. The tours focus on different aspects of our operation, depending on the time of year. In March and early April, the focus is on lambing; from late April through early August there are lambs to visit in the pasture and tours include the opportunity to watch the afternoon milking. April and May are the best months to visit if you want to see baby lambs. By June the lambs are growing bigger. We still visit them and they still are adorable, but at 70+ pounds they are not what people always imagine when they think of “lambs.” October through February are our quieter months, and also there is a chance of rain. Tours during those months will include discussion of all of our seasonal activities, a walk through the pastures to enjoy the views, and a chance to meet the ewes and older lambs up close. Tours always include a discussion of how the cheese is made, a cheese tasting and a chance to purchase cheese when it is available.
Tours are limited to 15 guests, reservations will be on a first-come-first-served basis, and your reservation is guaranteed when I receive your payment. The price is $25 each for adults and $20 for children under 17. I ask that each adult have no more than two children accompanying them, and no more than one child under 13. The tours may not be appropriate for children under 10 or 11.
If you would like to reserve places on any of the tours listed below, please email me with “Tour” and the tour date in the subject line. I will send you payment instructions.
Tours will be held rain or shine, and cancellations are accepted with full refund up to 3 days before the tour. (If we have a really big storm forecast for the tour day we will try to reschedule the tour, and refund tickets for those who can’t make the new date).
We are not open to the public at other than scheduled tour dates. If you have a group of 10-15 people and would like a tour on other than a scheduled date, I may be able to accommodate you, but I will need a few weeks’ notice to make it work. Please email me with your request.
March tour dates:
The March tours are “lambing” tours and will focus on lambing. Adults only–we can’t accommodate children on these tours. These tours are somewhat unpredictable because there could be ewes in labor during the tour. There will be baby lambs with their mothers in pens in the barn and on the March 18 tour there will also be lambs with mothers out on the pasture if the weather is not rainy. There will also be a cheese-tasting and opportunity to buy cheese.
Saturday, March 4th, 1:30 to 3:30 PM
Saturday, March 18th, 1:30 to 3:30 PM (SOLD OUT; taking a waiting list)
The tour was excellent. If you’re looking to get out into the country, touch some animals, and learn more than you ever wanted to know about cheese making and sheep rearing, take a tour of Barinaga Ranch! It’s well worth the time.
We patted sheep that looked like big cotton balls on stilts and visited the lambing barn and milking parlor. While in the steel cargo containers that have been retrofitted into a pristine creamery and aging room, Ms. Barinaga offered a detailed explanation of cheese pH that betrayed her early training as a biologist.
Marcia was so knowledgeable, passionate and friendly. It was such a pleasure to tour her ranch and to hear stories of people taking risks to do something they are passionate about!