Nimbin Vally Dairy lies on a winding country road between Nimbin village and Tuntable Falls in Northern NSW. It’s the home of Kerry, Paul and three sons, together with approximately 150 of the happiest free-ranging goats this side of Capricorn.
We spoke with Paul Wilson to get down to the rind of cheesemakers.
What do you love about cheese?
The best thing about cheese is that you can take the same fresh milk, and by processing it differently it becomes a very very different cheese. Both a parmesan and brie are made from the same milk but are completely different cheeses. I also love the fact that you can eat the final product!
Describe a typical working day for a cheesemaker
A cheesemaker’s day starts early, around 6 when the fresh milk arrives. Once the milk and cultures are in the vat there is time for a coffee and a rest. Then there is a couple of hours of furious cheese making with small periods of just watching. Once the cheese has been hooped it has to be monitored and turned. After lunch typically it’s time to look after cheeses in the maturing room: washing them, turning them and wrapping. And of course there is cleaning. Cheesemaking is 80% washing up!
What is your favourite way to eat cheese?
With a fresh slice of bread. The yeasty bread goes so well with cheese. And maybe some fruit and of course a nice glass of wine. We have just started making raclette – a semi hard swiss style cheese that is traditionally eaten grilled over potatoes, pickles and charcuterie – it’s absolutely delicious!
What are your most popular cheeses?
Our Washed Goat, Tintenbar Triple Cream and our White Cow are probably the most popular cheeses.
What makes your cheeses stand-out?
We are a family farmstead cheese business so we make our cheese from milk produced on the farm. This enables us to use the freshest milk and you can really taste the fresh grass in the cheeses. For us our sustainable farming system is just as important as our traditional cheesemaking methods.
Nimbin Valley Dairy is returning to this year’s Kurrajong Kitchen Cheese Lovers Festival. To find out more about Nimbin Valley Dairy, visit their website here.