In February an innocuous email to its customers from Voyager in Bay View posed three questions: “Do you like to camp?” and “Do you like to drink wine?” and “How about award-winning cheeses?”
‘Yes, yes, yes,’ I nodded, clad in a sweater while it snowed outside and I read all about this cocktail and wine bar’s foray into hosting Cheese Camp.
Is there anything that sounds dreamier—and more in tune with Wisconsin—than hanging with cheesemakers during the day and then congregating with your fellow campers by the fire at night, perhaps roasting s’mores and sipping wine? What also makes this a cool, curated experience is that Voyager brings part of its wine stock along.
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And now the first Cheese Camp, aptly named “Driftless Odyssey,” is almost here. Trip dates are June 24-26, 2023. “Coastal Elite” is the second Cheese Camp, Aug. 25-27. Closing out the season is “Dark Skies & Fall Colors,” Oct. 13-15.
Starting out from Milwaukee in a passenger van, an intimate group of cheese-loving campers will head out to the countryside to visit creameries by day and camp by night. For “Driftless Odyssey” this means visiting Roelli Cheese Haus’s caves, creamery and retail store in Shullsburg, and pitching a tent at Yellowstone Lake State Park in Blanchardville. Then, for “Coastal Elite” the attention turns to Sheboygan with Blakesville Creamery, and falling asleep under the stars at Kohler-Andrae State Park. The final Cheese Camp of the season includes a chèvre–making class at Door County Creamery and camping at Peninsula State Park.
The $250 per-person fee includes the campsite reservation, transportation, cheese tastings and tours, all wine and daily breakfast and dinner. Shave $50 off the price if you meet the crew at the campsite and do not require transportation. Each person must bring their own tent.
Sign up and payment is taken through Voyager’s Venmo page. Orders should indicate what camp is being signed up for, if transportation is needed (or you are driving on your own) and your preferred email for further instructions as the trip approaches.