9 organic sheep cheeses (along with a range of yoghurt, frozen yoghurt and cows milk cheeses)
Grandvewe is a family run Sheep’s Cheesery, and it’s the only one here on Tasmania. Diane Rae, along with children Nicole Gilliver and Ryan Hartsthorn keep the business operating as smoothly as their indulgent, creamy cheeses.
Diane and her partner Alan took a holiday to Tasmania in 1999 and found that they had an immediate connection with the land. The family moved from Brisbane to the 16-odd hectare plot with dreams of creating an organic vineyard but the demand for sheep milk produce quickly became apparent. After researching the market they noticed a niche opportunity to launch a range of sheep milk products.
“There’s only four of us in Australia with dairy sheep and only two that extend to tourism.”
They bought the farm and established a flock of East Friesland sheep, a dutch variety bred for their high milk yield. Within two years of production, Diane won ‘Best Organic Product’ at the 2003 Tasmanian Fine Food Awards. More recently their chosen breed of sheep is Awassi as they are robust and drought-tolerant, ideally suited to the Tasmanian climate. Grandvewe is the only producer of its kind to be certified organic.
We got the chance to taste several of their cheeses, and here’s what we thought:
1. Friesland Fog – Soft cheese with a blue/grey rind. Smooth, creamy with a hint of blue cheese taste.
2. La Mancha – Classic sheep cheese made in the Manchego style. Rubbed weekly with organic olive oil and aged for 20 months. This cheese won gold at the 2012 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show.
3. Sapphire Blue – Named champion by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. This led to Grandvewe applying for the President’s Medal, the country’s highest produce accolade.
4. Pinot Paste - Grandvewe’s equivalent of quince jelly. Perfect accompaniment to the tasty cheeses on offer here.
5. Mutton Sausage – A cured meat sausage with a smoky rich flavor.
Visiting Grandvewe was a treat in itself–an elegant, cozy cafe overlooking lush rolling hills covered in their sheep, with a stunning body of water shimmering in the background. We bundled up in some fleece, browsed the huge collection of magazine and newspaper articles published about Grandvewe, and had a great chat with Diane’s daughter, who is also one of the owners of Grandvewe, Nicole Gilliver.
Our favorite treat of the day (other than the sheep’s puns and jokes that lined the walls of the bathroom) was the Sheep Milk Ice Cream–intensely creamy and a perfect, rich chocolate flavour.
High quality products, relentless commitment to their dream, and a great sense of humor to boot.. it’s just one killer combination for a business. Grandvewe, you rock our woolen socks off.
For more information on Grandvewe Sheep Cheesery, please visit their website or in person at:
59 Devyns Road, Birchs Bay, South Hobart
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