One of the great pleasures of wandering from winery to winery is anticipating a glass of the good stuff with a slice or two of cheese once you’re back home. How about, then, making your own cheese right in the heart of Yallingup?
Alana Langworthy, cheesemaker at Yallingup Cheese Company, runs popular workshops, teaching visitors all manner of technique. Classes run for two to three hours depending on the cheese being made.
“On arrival, participants are given a brief lesson about cheese production basics and hygiene,” says Alana. “They are then let loose in the commercial cheesery where they get hands on making cheese to take home that day.” Classes are interactive and include all equipment, ingredients, tuition plus a cheese and wine tasting.
“We make fresh curd and white mould-ripened cheeses using locally-sourced organic Jersey milk,” says Alana. So think camembert, mozzarella, brie, vache curd and mascarpone and feta. In fact it’s the organic Jersey milk which makes the cheese so superior. “We are supplied by a single herd in Jindong and their milk quality is second to none,” she says. “As our cheeses are small batch, you really can see the variations in the milk across the seasons.”
Being a cheesemaker has its perks, says Alana, not least of which is being able to conjure up the most delicious, natural cheese whenever she chooses. It’s one of the oldest artisan pursuits in the world, and Alana completed practical and written studies in cheese manufacturing here and in France before opening up her fromagerie last year as an adjunct to small wine producer of the year, Windows Estate.
“I have been in training for nearly 10 years and there is always something new to learn,” she says. If you’re stuck for inspiration about how to enjoy your newly crafted cheese, Alana has a few suggestions. “I love the pairing of Windows Estate bubbles with our camembert.”
“The c02 in the wine really cuts through the richness of the camembert paste. I have also been known to devour a whole St Julian with a bottle of Deep Woods Shiraz Et Al.” No surprise there – Alana’s husband is the head winemaker at Deep Woods.