Taking inspiration from Europe, the Feete family created Grayson to suit their mountainous Virginia landscape. The Feetes only make cheese when their small herd of Jersey cows is grazing on pasture, making it a seasonal cheese and creating its delicious flavor. We pick up hints of grass, nuts, and an undertone of earthiness in the flavor. Grayson is a washed rind cheese, meaning it is washed with a brine solution while aging to propagate the beautiful reddish-orange rind and further develop the meaty texture and sometimes bacony flavor.
Farm/Producer/Importer: Meadow Creek Dairy/Helen Feete
Place: Galax, VA
Milk Type: Raw cow
Age: 6o days
Pairing: Riesling or Belgian Ale
Manchego is a tricky cheese. There are so many on the market so how do you decide what is good Manchego? We have tasted dozens and enthusiastically decided on Manchego 1605. This is one of the few Manchegos that is handmade with unpasteurized milk from a single herd of sheep and then aged with an unwaxed rind. It’s produced by Maria José at Finca Sierra La Solana, a ranch from 1878 that also grows grapes and almonds. For us, it is not about age but flavor. These wheels taste of hay, green olive, and almonds. Manchego 1605 is truly artisan and authentic.
Farm/Producer/Importer: Finca Sierra la Solana/Queseria 1605/Essex St. Cheese Company
Place: Ciudad Real, Spain
Milk Type: Raw sheep
Age: 6-8 months
Pairing: Albariño, sour beer
The quest for perfect milk drove Todd and Maugan Trethowen to leave Wales for Somerset's lush grasslands. They built a creamery at Puxton Court Farm, five miles away from the town of Cheddar, where they use milk from their herd of Holstein-Friesian and Jersey cows to craft this traditional West Country Cheddar. It is made following age-old Cheddar making techniques, which include using raw milk, traditional cultures, "Cheddaring" by hand, and cloth-binding. Pitchfork has a dense but creamy texture with an earthy flavor that is perfectly balanced by an acidic tang.
Farm/Producer/Importer: Trethowan Brothers/Neal's Yard Dairy
Place: Somerset, England
Milk Type: Raw Cow
Age: 12-18 Months
Pairing: Pinot Noir, Ale, dry cider