About Us

Farmstead Cheeses and Wines

Dave caught the wine bug in his early 20’s, and dabbled in the field for decades while working in data and analytics for various marketing organizations. In 2001 he offered his consulting services to the wine industry and in early 2005, at the end of a 3-year consulting stint for Randall Grahm and Bonny Doon Vineyard, he launched his own firm, the Sideways Wine Club and the ‘Tastes of the Valleys’ wine bar, as a licensee of Searchlight Pictures. The brand eventually morphed from ‘Sideways’ to ‘Dave the Wine Merchant’ in 2010 and operations moved to Northern California – perfectly positioned to notice the 2022 posting when Farmstead was put up for sale by its founder.

Wine Is Life!

We think of wine as a time capsule that contains bits of every hand that played a part in its crafting, plus the weather, the vineyard soils, and the history of the winery and the region and culture that produced it.20230327 174806 V2

There is no better way to appreciate a wine’s gestalt than to travel to its place of origin – winemaking regions both domestic and international. Such visits allow us to walk the vineyards and meet growers and producers who share local history, cuisines and wines as they take us through every aspect of their wine. We encourage our staff and customers to join us on these journeys, and anticipate traveling with some of you on organized tours so you to can discover some of the world’s most interesting and satisfying wines along with us.

This is where our industry connections can provide a rare ‘insiders’ view, introducing you to winemakers, Master Sommeliers, cheesemakers, chefs, journalists, bloggers and importers from around the globe. Whether you join us on our travels, meet our guest hosts at an in-store event, or simply soak up our staff’s enthusiasm over their favorite selections, you’ll leave our shops as a more informed and engaged wine lover.

Our Team

Our team is an interesting amalgam of enthusiasts who eschew snobbery and attitude as we strive to help you find the right selections for your dinner party, wedding, picnic, or snack. Our current crew consists of trained chefs, former professional musicians, cheese mongers, rock climbers, scientists, grad students and photographers, all united by our love of the world’s fine wine and food.

A Brief History of (Farmstead) Time

The first Farmstead shop was opened in the Alameda Marketplace in 2003, the second of nine fine food purveyors and eateries that populate the marketplace today. Our second store was opened in 2008 in a former cigar shop in Oakland’s charming Montclair Village shopping district.

Both stores feature a broad selection of 50+ hand-cut cheeses, hundreds of boutique wines, and specialty foods and gift items. In addition, each store serves as a pick-up center for our monthly wine clubs that feature great selections from wine regions all over the globe.

We’re proud to share that Farmstead has been named Best Cheese Store and Best Wine Store  by the editors of the East Bay Express, Best Wine Shop many times by the readers of Alameda Magazine, and Best Wine Store in the East Bay by the readers of Oakland Magazine, and one of the Best Cheese Shops in the Country by Gourmet.com

Get More Farmstead

We have an active email/newsletter program with recipes, news, and info about new wines and cheeses and special featured wines and periodic flash sales.  To subscribe, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *