Will Travel for Cheese


OWENSVILLE, MO Cool Cow Cheese

Sand­wiched be­tween wine re­gions—yes, in Mis­souri—this se­cluded, 160-year-old farm­stead boasts vis­tas of green pas­tures and cows in­stead of vine­yards. (Don’t worry, those aren’t far. Be­cause what’s cheese with­out a lit­tle wine?) Dur­ing your visit, take a cheese­mak­ing class to learn how this farm makes its but­tery Edam, rich Gouda (be­low) and queso blanco, avail­able in an ar­ray of fla­vors (gar­lic is a fan fa­vorite). Stay in Cool Cow’s be­dand-break­fast, fea­tur­ing rus­tic-chic re­mod­eled hayloft suites with 18foot ceil­ings, and re­lax on the cov­ered porch that has win­dows di­rectly into the cream­ery. $125-175/night: cool­cowcheese.com

CUM­BER­LAND, ME Sun­flower Farm Cream­ery

This farm­stead is a per­fect day trip from Port­land, which is just 10 miles away. (There’s no on-site ho­tel.) Learn how they make feta and a chèvre that’s so pleas­antly mild it’s al­most sweet (think ri­cotta, but with a smoother tex­ture). They make goat’s-milk caramels and yo­gurt too. Visit on a Thurs­day night in sum­mer for goat yoga and stretch into a down­ward “goat” pose along­side their Nige­rian Dwarf goats. “No one can take them­selves too se­ri­ously if there’s a whole herd of goats wan­der­ing around class,” says Hope Hall, the farmer, cheese­maker and yoga in­struc­tor. Yoga by do­na­tion; $60 cheese­mak­ing classes: sun­flow­er­farm.info

KULA, HI Surf­ing Goat Dairy

Af­ter a day on Maui’s epic beaches, swing by Surf­ing Goat Dairy (above) on the slopes of the Haleakala crater. Decked out in surf­boards, this cream­ery of­fers the chance to herd, feed and milk the goats. The farm makes more than 30 cheeses, in­clud­ing chèvre (served at Pres­i­dent Obama’s in­au­gu­ra­tion fes­tiv­i­ties), as well as va­ri­eties packed in macadamia nut oil, and quark mixed with lo­cal straw­ber­ries. Var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, $8 to $55: surf­ing­goat­dairy.com

SHEL­BURNE, VT Shel­burne Farms

This his­toric dairy won first place in the 2018 Amer­i­can Cheese So­ci­ety Ched­dar cheese com­pe­ti­tion for its über-smooth and creamy 6-month-old Ched­dar. And this is just one of Shel­burne Farms’ stel­lar cheeses made from the milk of its 110 Brown Swiss cows. Watch for the Novem­ber re­lease of its best-sell­ing beer Ched­dar, made with lo­cal Fid­dle­head Brew­ing Com­pany IPA. Or sched­ule your trip in 2020 for a 4-year-old “leap” cheese, made each Fe­bru­ary 29. Check out the class list that goes be­yond cheese­mak­ing, into top­ics like mush­room for­ag­ing and medic­i­nal plants. Or wan­der through its 10 miles of idyl­lic trails. From mid-may to midoc­to­ber, stay in the lux­u­ri­ous 19th-cen­tury man­sion and dine in its restau­rant, which re­lies on daily har­vests from its own fields and fea­tures a se­lec­tion of Ver­mont cheeses on its dessert menu. Classes start at $5; Inn $160-$530/ night: shel­burne­farms.org

WESTBY, WI Hid­den Springs Cream­ery

This re­gion of Wis­con­sin boasts deep river val­leys, un­du­lat­ing hills, scenic bluffs—plus Brenda Jensen (above) and her flock of 700 East Friesian and La­caune sheep. The cheeses she makes from their milk have amassed some 100 awards since 2002 and in­clude the del­i­cate and fresh Drift­less (a sheep’s-milk ver­sion of chèvre) and the Manchego-like “Wis-chego,” an Amer­i­can Cheese So­ci­ety first-place win­ner. En­joy a tour of the farm’s tree-lined pas­tures fol­lowed by a tast­ing. Then re­lax at the in­ti­mate bed-and-break­fast, com­plete with pri­vate porch and hot tub. $500/night, in­clud­ing tast­ings and tours: hid­den­springs cream­ery.com

Af­ter adding the ren­net, Shel­burne Farms cheese­mak­ers use a set of knives called a harp to cut the curds for their award­win­ning Ched­dar.

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