In 2013 we packed up our young family and traded the cold concrete of inner city Melbourne for a run down farm in tiny Tarrawingee. We saw the potential to convert an 1850s stone coach house and 120 acres of fertile soil in the foothills of Victoria’s High Country into a sustainable farm, small goat dairy and farmstead cheesery. Our dream was to produce small batches of cheese by hand using only the milk from our animals. We also wanted to open the farm gate to visitors, so people could come and meet the goats and taste the cheese in the very place where it was made. With no farming, dairy or commercial cheesemaking experience we were on a steep learning curve, but we threw ourselves into it and haven’t looked back! We now produce fresh goat milk and a range of specialty goat cheeses, which we sell direct from the farm, at accredited farmers markets in Melbourne and North East Victoria, and through select retailers and restaurants in our region. Our cheeses include a silky fresh curd, marinated lactic cheese, two soft-ripened lactic cheeses, a semi-hard alpine style cheese (made only in Spring) and a dense creamy blue (made only in Summer). Some of these cheeses are only made seasonally to bring out the best in the milk.
We only use milk from our own animals. We milk a small herd of Saanen goats. At the moment there are around 38 in production, but this will increase to 60 come Spring. The girls are milked just once each day, always mid-morning after they have had the chance to wake up, stretch their legs and have a browse. We think that this is better for their health and wellbeing, which translates into a higher quality milk for cheesemaking.
There are around 100 goats in our herd, although only 38 are productive milkers. Our girls are joined at around 18 months, 3 years and 5 years to ‘freshen’ our milk supply.
We are best known for our signature cheese ‘Great Alpine Road’. It is a small soft-ripened lactic goat cheese inspired by our all-time favourite cheese from France – Chabichou. Great Alpine Road has a fudgy core and wrinkly rind, but develops a soft, gooey paste as it matures. It is a gorgeous looking cheese on a cheese platter and delicious when served with a tart fruit paste and full-bodied white wine.
Farm gate/cellar door
Our farm gate is open to visitors Wed-Sat, Sundays during school holidays and most public holidays. We have a cellar door where visitors can come and taste our range of products and farm shop filled with other delicious produce, beer, wine and gin from our region. Visitors can sit in the farmhouse garden and enjoy a cheese platter with a glass of vino. Once a month we have Farm Open Day with live music, gourmet food and farm tours as well.
Tolpuddle Goat Cheese and Farm Foods
70 Rusholme Road, Tarrawingee, VIC
03 5725 1759