Miyoko Schinner Is Redefining Wine Country With a Vegan Twist

|Updated Aug 6, 2021
Instagram / @miyokoschinner

Plant-based cheese pioneer Miyoko Schinner is reinventing the wine and food experience in Northern California. The founder and CEO of vegan cheese company Miyoko’s Creamery is launching the campaign 'Wine Country 2.0' in an effort to incorporate a vegan perspective of the entire wine experience. The entrepreneur aims to promote sustainability, animal welfare, and health with her new take on the wine countryside. The campaign will gather local restauranteurs, hoteliers, organizations, wineries, and artisan food developers to redesign the wine country experience.

“Wine Country 2.0 is an entirely new way to enjoy the world’s greatest wine region and leading tourist destination. We will expose visitors and locals alike to phenomenal experiences which demonstrate that caring for the planet and animals while delivering the world’s finest food and wine pairings are not mutually exclusive,” Schinner said. “This convivial, climate-forward collaboration celebrates the diverse, local tastemakers and change-makers who are leading the way in creating a more sustainable and compassionate hospitality experience that will create a blueprint for the culinary industry across the country.

Schinner’s Wine Country 2.0 will facilitate a classic wine and food experience without any animal products. The motivation stems from Schinner’s understanding of the changing consumer interest regarding plant-based eating. The company reported that the number of vegans across the United States increased by 600 percent over the last three years. Schinner explained that “That means we are leaving a lot of people out of the wine country experience and losing opportunities to attract and connect with these folks.”

The vegan cheese developer has already assembled dozens of members to support the Wine Country 2.0 campaign. Schinner hopes to motivate companies across the industry to consider the value of plant-based arrangements. The dairy industry is so closely linked to the California wine industry, making this an important marketplace to tackle.

Schinner’s campaign has already enlisted wineries including Cline Cellars, Blue Farm, and Clif Family Winery, businesses such as Bohemian Highway, Renegade Foods, Green String Farm, El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen, and La Belle Vie Tours, and some organizations including Charlie’s Acres, Jameson Humane, Out in the Vineyard, and Miyoko’s own farm sanctuary Rancho Compasión.

Wine Country 2.0 will also host an awards ceremony in November that will celebrate the organizations, wineries, and businesses that have worked the hardest to incorporate sustainability into their business models. Following its inaugural year, Schinner hopes that Wine Country 2.0 will organize a vegan food and wine festival by Spring 2022.

“Ultimately, the goal is to shift the paradigm of wine country here and beyond, and to create a model for the hospitality industry worldwide that will serve as a roadmap for sustainability by incorporating a vegan approach to food and wine,” Schinner continued. “As leaders in the industry, we want to use that sphere of influence to become a trusted resource for locals, visitors, chefs, and inspire change-maker chefs and winemakers across the world to establish the new and improved wine country experience, for the businesses, the people, and the animals.”

Since 2014, Schinner has led the plant-based dairy industry. Following her career as a vegan chef and cookbook author, Schinner decided to open her vegan dairy company Miyoko’s Creamery. Now, the company has expanded into a 30,000-square-foot facility in Petaluma, CA, and distributes its products at nearly 30,000 stores across North America and Australia.

The Surprising Reasons these Five Country Singers Went Meat-Free

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1. Carrie Underwood Loved Her Family's Farm Animals

Seven-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood has been hailed for her “enormous” vocal range. When it comes to her diet, Underwood’s a fan of breakfast burritos and lots of tofu. She doesn’t shy away from the carbs, either. According to Cheat Sheet, one of her favorite snacks is a toasted English muffin with peanut butter.

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2. Blake Shelton Wants to Keep Up With His Older Girlfriend

Singer, songwriter, and “The Voice” coach, Blake Shelton, 43, has been working to stay fit recently with help from his long-time love, Gwen Stefani, who is a vegetarian and told him to get off the meat if he wants to feel fitter and lose some weight. Shelton has been trying to keep up with Stefani's impressive fitness level, according to an interview Stefani gave this fall. The former No Doubt singer and Hollaback girl is a longtime vegetarian, eats a mostly vegan diet, and is super fit-- and at 50, looks younger than her years. A source told Gossipcop, “Gwen’s told him the way to lose it is to stay the hell away from meat and bad carbs.” We're rooting for him!

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3. Shania Twain Has the Key to Gorgeous Skin

The best-selling female country music singer in history isn’t buying any expensive steak dinners after a performance. The “Queen of Country Pop” has sold more than 100 million records but says she keeps her meat-free diet simple. She is both vegetarian and eats very little dairy -- though at times has said she does eat eggs.


4. Annette Conlon, Folk Artist with a Passion

Americana singer and songwriter Annette Conlon is also a passionate vegan. She started “The Compassionette Tour,” in an effort to bring compassion, social consciousness, human interaction, and animal issues to a mainstream audience.

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5. Johnny Cash, Walked the Vegan Line Late in Life

The Man in Black is synonymous with country music, even nearly two decades after his death (1932-2003), probably in part because of the biopic about his life starring vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix. Ask any die-hard country music fan (or your dad, for that matter) and they will tell you that Johnny Cash was one of the best-selling musicians of all-time. His scores of hits include “I Walk the Line” and "Hurt" "A Boy Named Sue" and dozens of others. Cash himself was believed to have lived meat-free later in life to help combat some health issues. At Johnny Cash’s Kitchen and Saloon in Nashville, you can also load up on the meat-free dishes as the restaurant boasts a fully stacked veggie menu that includes greens, sweet potato mash, and fried okra.