Meet the cheese makers

Mahoe  Farmhouse Cheese

Oramahoe, Northland

BIG CHEESES: Jake Rosevear, centre, with others from the team at Mahoe, south of Kerikeri, from left, Fu Ming Yao, Jake's parents Bob Rosevear and Anna Rosevear and Jo-Ann Hardwick-Smith.

Credit: Stuff.co.nz
Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese is situated outside Kerikeri in the Far North of New Zealand and has been operating as a family business since 1986. Started by Bob and Anne Rosevear, the creamery is a family affair, with the milk for all the cheeses and fresh products coming from their own, small herd of cows. Their son Tim, takes care of 60 fresian cross cows, paying special attention to their health and wellbeing. The cows are milked twice daily. Mahoe follows mainly organic principles in their farming and animal care.

The cheesery is adjoined to the milking shed so there is no need for milk transportation. The fresh milk is pasteurised and then turned in to cheese the next morning.

Two of the Rosevear’s other sons, Jesse and Jake, along with cheesemaker, Tony, are constantly working on improving the cheese making and maturing technique to achieve the finest quality artisan cheeses.

 

Evansdale Farmhouse Cheese

Waikouiti, Dunedin


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Evansdale Cheese started in 1978 with the Dennison family cow. Now Evansdale cheese is still a family owned and operated business, which has grown from 150 litres of milk a day to 1,500 litres of milk each day.

A lot has changed since Evansdale first started, but Evansdale Cheese continues to be a small, family run business, and the Dennison family members continue to make cheese by hand, recognising that with a little care and consideration, something beautiful, delicate and delicious can be shared and enjoyed by many.

Evansdale Cheese now produce 20-30 different varieties of cheese that are naturally preservative and calf rennet free. With a wide range of robust and delicate flavours; from curds to blue, to hard cheeses, and soft brie cheeses.
100% New Zealand owned and operated, you can visit Evansdale Cheese and the Dennison family cheese factory at Hawksbury village, just outside of Dunedin.

 

Mercer Cheese

Mercer, Waikato

Albert Alferink is of Dutch heritage and has been making cheese in Mercer, one hour south of Auckland, since 1981.

Having learned how to make cheese in his homeland of Holland, Alfred came to NZ where he was working on a farm in Paihiatua when he decided he would start his own business making cheese.

Today Alfred makes fifteen types of cheeses in his Onewhero based cheese factory with many going on to win awards at the New Zealand Cheese awards.

 

 

Thorvald and Little River Estate

Upper Moutere, Nelson

Thorvald owner director David Barrett, right, with master cheese maker Francis Bigot who produces sheep milk cheeses for Thorvold.

Credit: Stuff.co.nz

Nestled in the charming Neudorf Valley, among green rolling hills with the magnificent backdrop of the the Mt Arthur range, Thorvald cheesemaker Francis Bigot crafts delicious sheep milk yoghurt and cheeses under the Thorvald banner and more recently A2 cow's milk cheeses under the Little River Estate label.

Francis (a French national) learned his craft in his native country based near the French - Swiss border. After completing his antipodean journey, Francis was based at Nelson's Wangapeka cheese before being given the license to create sheep's milk cheese creations with Thorvald.

The highest quality sheep's milk from Canterbury's rolling plains is delivered weekly, along with regular deliveries of Oakland's A2 certified cow's milk. Francis and his team take the raw ingredients and craft hand made artisan cheeses 5 days a week. 

Oaklands, have a keen focus on ethical farming practices, and have been involved in the Nelson community for over 100 years.

Aged on site for up to 3 months, some cheeses for even longer, Thorvald and now Little River Estate produce a range of award winning soft and hard cheeses, as well as fresh cheeses and yoghurts. 

 

Kaikoura Cheese

Kaikoura, Canterbury

 

Started by cheesemakers Daniel and Sarah Jenkins in 2011, Kaikoura Cheese has quickly established itself as a quality producer of exceptional goat's and cow's milk cheeses. 

Starting out with just 3 Sannan goats in their herd, Kaikoura Cheese has come from humble beginnings, but has managed to keep its close links with their lush surrounds first and foremost in their cheese making. Situated in the north east of the South Island, Kaikoura Cheese benefits from the unique environment where the hills come down to meet the sea and encourage unique flora to grow, ideal for making delightful, tasty and funky cheese. 

Daniel and Sarah's philosophy to cheese making is french inspired but places the highest emphasis on respecting and reflecting the land and their animals which produce the milk that allows Kaikoura Cheese to produce texturally delicate and flavourful cheeses. Embracing a co-operative rather than controlling relationship with nature, and using the best quality ingredients, they say, is the secret to producing the best cheeses.

Kaikoura Cheese produces semi-hard, semi-soft and soft fresh whipped, soft ripened and washed rind cheeses using traditional open vats combined with the best of modern techniques.

  

Cartwheel Creamery

Pohangina Valley, Manawatu

 

 

Just north of Palmerston North you will find the picturesque Pohangina Valley, and the home of Cartwheel Creamery. Started in 2011, by husband and wife team Adrian and Jill Walcroft (both former scientists), Cartwheel Creamery is the result of a decades long passion for cheesemaking. 

Cartwheel Creamery sources milk from a local Pohinga Valley farm who farm Jersey-Cross Cows, and from nearby Saanen Goats, Friesan cows and specialty A2 Beta-Casein milk producing herds. The milk is collected fresh before being crafted in to hand made cheese at Cartwheel Creamery's bespoke premises situated on their lifestyle block in the Manawatu. 

Having spent a year living in France, the Cartwheel creamery cheesemakers embrace the concepts of terroir and provenance in their cheese making. With a scientific background, and an appreciation for fine food, Cartwheel Creamery could be described as the harmony between science and art. And it's a combination that has led to some of the best artisan cheeses produced in New Zealand. 

Cartwheel Creamery produce a range of soft, blue and semi-hard and brined Goat's and Cow's Milk cheeses and are regular medal winners at the New Zealand Champions of Cheese awards. 

 

Over The Moon Dairy

Putaruru, Waikato

More to come

 

Drunken Nanny

Martinborough, Manawatu

More to come

 

Gibbston Valley Cheese Company

Queenstown, Otago

 

More to come


Geraldine Cheese Company

Geraldine, Canterbury

More to come

 

Karikaas Cheese

Rangiora, Canterbury

 

More to come

 

Mount Eliza Cheese

Katikati, Bay of Plenty

More to come

 

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