Less than 200km south of Sydney lies a 200 acre sheep farm dedicated to creating some of Australia’s greatest sheep milk cheeses. Michael and Cressida Cains established their farm in 2011 after a desire for a tree change following a fast-paced life marketing wines.
“We work together, attending to every aspect of our pursuit. It’s our life’s work” proclaims Michael, a self-described purist in his pursuit of sustainable and ethical farming practices and cheesemaking. “Our overarching philosophy is a gentleness on the land, towards our ewes, and in the production of cheese.”
The Cains’ have raised a pure flock of East Friesian sheep which they believe straddles their requirements for sustainability, optimum milk quality and suitability to the often harsh conditions that the Southern Highlands can produce.
Such is their care for their “girls”, many have names. But none is quite as unique as head girl, Kevin (yes, that’s really what they named her), who lets herself into the house each day, acting as if she owns the joint.
The focus of their cheese has always been on representing their landscape. Rather than trying to create flavours similar to France, they are their unique style. Their purist pursuit has taken them down the path of raw milk which has culminated in Yarrawa, Australia’s first uncooked raw milk cheese. Released in 2018, this beauty picked up “Champion Cheese of Show” at the recent Sydney Royal.
These are the cheeses in the current Pecora Dairy pack. Each cheese has been specially selected taking into account ripeness and time of year as well as what they really want to “hang their hat on” and show off their skills.
Please click on each cheese for the tasting note:
STINKY: Curly Red
BLUE: Jamberoo Mountain Blue