Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 864 : Vermont Farmstead Trip

Following our stop at Spring Brook Farm, my next stop was at Vermont Farmstead in South Woodstock, Vermont. The site of an old water buffalo dairy, this is the first community owned dairy in Vermont with the goal of stimulating the local economy by bringing back dairy farming to the region and in turn producing wonderful farmstead cheeses. A growing company - it was such fun to see their space and hear about all of their plans to grow in the coming weeks, months and years.

The newest development in terms of growth is their new outpost right next to Harpoon Brewery in Windsor -- boasting a retail shop, a cut n' wrap area, aging caves and more. The retail shop opened a little over a month ago and when I was there, they were still working on the back areas. Stay tuned for updates as this space is finished. But for the moment, it is the perfect place to grab some local cheeses, preserves, breads, ice creams and more while you're at Harpoon Brewery.

But let's move back to their South Woodstock location which is home base for their current cheesemaking operations. Here they produce approximately twelve different cheeses and are constantly expanding and growing their cheese offerings. What I thought was very cool in my chats with the cheesemakers was that the original goal in developing a line of cheeses was to reinvent lesser known European cheeses and really make them their own -- putting a very unique and completely personal Vermont Farmstead spin on their cheeses.

As of late they sure have been exploring their flavor creative juices with infused Windsordales modeled on the traditional English cheese, Wensleydale with cheese such as a Cranberry Windsordale, a Blueberry Windsordale, a Hot Pepper Windsordale, a Cracked Pepper Windsordale and even a Chocolate Stout infused Windsordale. They are constantly trying new infusions and are seeing what works and what doesn't -- for example a Peas and Carrots infused Windsordale unfortunately fell flat and tasted like chicken soup.

Apart from their Windsordale experiments, they are also working on producing more and more small Lille, their bloomy rinded ooey-gooey Coulommiers inspired cream-ster - going from approximately one to two pound wheels down to small, little, dainty seven ouncers -- perfect with a bottle of champagne for a night in.

The current sized Lille's aging

The newly developed smaller Lille's just after production.

Spending time at the Creamery and with the staff, their enthusiasm, excitement, and energy was totally contagious -- you see it in their fabulous new farmstead cheeses and in their plans for expansion in terms of their facilities. This is only just the beginning of Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, stay tuned for the next steps.

A look inside the creamery....

The vats utilized to craft their cheeses

Their milking parlour

A look into their cow barn.

Thanks guys for taking the time to show me around! I look forward to seeing you all again very soon. 

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