With the new year we wanted to bring a new variety of posts to our cheese blog. Every couple months we will be featuring a creamery who’s cheese we carry at Bottle King’s Vineyard Market, giving you the chance to see where the cheese comes from, and all the love that goes into making it! For our inaugural post, we would like to introduce you to Cypress Grove Creamery.
When Mary Keehn began raising goats to provide milk for her children, who were allergic to dairy from cows, she never dreamed that she would one day become an industry leading cheesemaker. Like any other mother, she simply wanted the best for her children. So, she took excellent care of her herd, keeping them happy, healthy, and most importantly–productive! She soon became America’s leading Alpine dairy goat breeder, with her herd winning numerous awards and turning out more milk than her family could consume, which lead to a new hobby for Mary–cheesemaking!
“I tried my hand at cheesemaking because I loved to cook and I had a lot of extra milk on hand,” says Keehn. “After a few rounds of trial and error, the cheese started turning out. I shared it with my family and friends. Eventually, word spread, and then I started selling to chefs. It took on a life of its own.”
Cypress Grove Chevre is located in Arcata, California, in foggy, coastal Humboldt County (about 300 miles north of San Fransisco). They pride themselves on their terroir, or “sense of place” which subtly influences their cheeses. They work closely with local dairies whose goats thrive in the local environment and on the natural vegetation of the area. “Terroir is the nuance of a region that is subtly expressed in food and wine,” says Keehn. “It’s what gives a cheese complexity and mystery. The process is not magic, but rather a series of carefully managed choices, from the quality of milk to land preservation.”
Cypress Grove offers a wide variety of fresh, soft-ripened, and aged chevres–many of which you can find at Bottle King’s Vineyard Market. From Humboldt Fog, to Purple Haze, to Midnight Moon–Cypress Grove’s cheese are a chevre-lovers dream come true! And all their cheeses are made with microbial rennet, making them vegetarian friendly!
You can find additional information, and some delicious recipes, on Cypress Grove Chevre’s website, and be sure to try some of their cheeses next time you’re at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market!