A few hundred years ago, practically every Vermont farm had about a dozen cows and made their own milk, butter and cheese. This milk was brought to centrally located factories (cheese co-ops) that turned milk into butter and cheese as a way to extend the milk season and preserve the milk that would spoil otherwise. Chunks of ice were used as refrigeration in the early 1900s, until the introduction of the refrigerated truck after World War II. In the early 1950s, milk was collected by truck, bottled for distribution, and delivered throughout New England. Of all of the original cheesemakers, only a few originals remain: Crowley Cheese (1824), Grafton Cheese (1892), and Cabot Creamery (1893).
Fast forward to 2014, and Vermont has 45 cheesemaking members producing over 150 varieties of cheese. Not just regular ole’ cheese; but award winning, artisan cheese. One of the original cheese makers of Vermont, Cabot Creamery, has won awards in Best of Class for 2+ year Cheddar, Pepper Flavored Cheese, American Style Cheese, Hot Buffalo Wing Cheddar, and Cottage Cheese. And there’s more where that came from.
So, you may be wondering just why July is the cheesiest month in Vermont? Well, there are two fantastic cheese events that just cannot be missed:
“Vermont Farm Tours is offering an Artisan Cheese Tour and a Wine and Cheese Tour on Saturday, July 19! Tours are $95 per person and last the full day. Each tour visits three artisan producers and includes lunch, transportation, and tastings.
This year’s Artisan Cheese Tour will visit three unique Vermont cheesemakers, featuring cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses in a range of styles. We will meet the cheesemakers and tour their pastures, cheese rooms, and a cheese cave. Enjoy tastings with the cheesemakers themselves, including styles unavailable in stores. The tour will be guided byChris Howell, Vermont Farm Tours founder.
The Artisan Cheese Tour ($95 per person) includes van transportation, a local picnic lunch, tastings, tour notes, and a canvas Vermont Farm Tours bag to fill with cheese…” –Vermont Farm Tours
6th Annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival Celebrates the Ages of Cheese
Meet the Cheesemakers, Savor the Art, Taste the Craft
Shelburne, Vt. March 6, 2014 – The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival makes it’s sixth annual appearance on the shores of Lake Champlain this summer to celebrate Vermont cheeses, locally produced artisan foods, local wines, craft beers and distilled spirits- and the people who make them. The 6th Annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival will be held on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
There’s still time to pack up and get ready to spend a wonderful, cheesy July weekend in Vermont! See you there! For more information, visit vtcheesefest.com
This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.