Our first cheese, which we began to make in 2009, is a soft goats’ cheese named after the village that we live in, Stawley. The production of Stawley is seasonal - the goats produce milk from March, when they start kidding, through to December, when milk production stops and the goats (and we) have a rest until kidding begins again.
Stawley is made with raw (unpasteurised) milk from our herd. The milk is gravity fed from the milking parlour to the dairy below to minimise agitation. We ripen the evening milk overnight, and add it to the next day’s morning milk. The curd is then formed by a slow process of acidification and hand ladled into cylindrical moulds. The cheeses are left to drain and turned regularly before being individually salted. After a couple of days in the drying room, the cheese has grown a fine covering of wrinkly geotrichum. The cheeses are then moved to the humid ripening room to begin a period of maturation. At ten days old Stawley is soft, with mild, lactic, honeyed flavours. At three to four weeks the cheese develops a more complex, floral flavour and a firmer texture.
In 2012, we are developing a new cheese called Wellesley (named after the Duke who took his title from our local town, Wellington). As with Stawley, it is made with the raw milk from our herd, and is a washed rind cheese.