The Pines, in the rolling hills above Kiama, NSW, has been in the Grey family since 1854. It functioned mostly as a commercial dairy farm until a few years ago when husband and wife team Kel and Mahlah Grey converted it into a micro-dairy where they produce milk, gelato, pot-set yoghurt and now cheese under The Pines brand.
Being passionate sustainable farmers, they concluded the best way to showcase their award-winning milk was to turn it into the ultimate artisan product – cheese. But, like all good things, the process has taken some time. Over the past three years, the couple has started to upgrade their skills, equipment and knowledge levels. They now have a proper cheese maturation room (in an old converted grain silo) and new vats.
But while cheesemaking is a relatively new venture for the Greys, dairy farming is not. As sixth generation dairy farmers, they know the quality of their produce starts with what their cows eat – a natural pasture-based diet that allows for seasonal variations. Their 28 Holstein cows are raised using sustainable, biodynamic farming practices with a huge emphasis on animal welfare and herd health. They’ve also started cross-breeding their Holsteins with an old French breed, Normande, to create a herd that produces an even higher quality of milk. The Greys start every cow by hand, milk twice a day and do everything on farm using minimal processing – slow speed pumps, low-temp pasteurisation and packaging by hand.
For this reason, their milk is one of the best available in Australia and has been a State Winner in the delicious. Produce awards for the last two years. They want the seasonal variations in their milk to be highlighted in the cheeses they produce.
At the moment, there’s no farm gate or cellar door on the property, so the best way to buy The Pines cheeses is local farmer’s markets. However they are working on creating an on-farm shop, so watch this space!
The Pines Kiama
152 Saddleback Mountain Rd, Kiama NSW

Hard or soft?
Hard

Best cheese and booze match ever?
Cheddar and stout

Funniest cheese making experience?
We don’t speak Italian yet we spent a day in the Italian Alps learning to make cheese from an Italian Cheese maker who didn’t speak ANY English! Ciao Bella!

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