The Summer Terroir

Handpicked chestnut leaves marinating in Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey.

Terroir is the French word specific to winemaking that means “the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.”  Another way to think of it is taste of place… and now we understand that terroir influences everything from grapes to tomatoes to the milk from grazing cows.

All those seasonal grasses and plants, the chickory flower, the orchard grass, dock and pineapple weed, the wild mustards in summer and onion grasses in spring… all those flavors dance in our cows’ raw milk. Some are more prominent in spring, and fall back in summer. Other disappear altogether until the following spring. Some weave in and out throughout the season. And all those flavors alchemize as they age to become luscious, earthy raw milk cheese.

When the cheesemaker’s heart turns to Trilby making in summer, we handpick edible leaves from fig and chestnut trees to wrap the cheese when it is ready for sale. Trilby is a small washed-rind cheese that, while ageing, is washed with rye whiskey from Dad’s Hat in Bristol. The chestnut leaves above were picked from our head cheesemaker’s yard and then soaked in that lovely local whiskey until fully saturated. The leaves soak up all that flavor and when wrapped then help seal it into each little wheel.

Come into the farm store or visit us at our farmers markets this week for a taste! #Trilby

1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens