Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 59

tisan' often means the milk is being
purchased."
Every ounce of milk that goes
into Three Graces Dairy cheeses
comes from the goats, cows and
sheep that live on the farm. Where
the animals reside and what they eat
truly matter.
Nothing is wasted at the dairy.
A whey line conveys the cheesemaking by-product across the field
where a group of pigs waits to consume it. Those pigs are later sold as
whey-fed.
"Part of our success is the freshness of the milk," Roberta says. "And
we use as few additives as possible."
Her standards are exact and demanding. Not only must the temperature of the milk in the pasteurizer be measured and recorded, but
also the air space right above it.
Roberta is not a proponent of raw
milk cheeses. As she says, "I believe
in pasteurization. Louis Pasteur became what he was for a reason, and
it's about keeping people healthy."
Chevre-fresh goat cheese-is
the dairy's biggest seller, and its
uniqueness arises from the blend of
goat breeds that graze on this mountainside.
Three Graces Dairy milks around
120 goats, and all of them have
names. Many of the Nubian goats
bear French names, some even from
the world of ballet. The Guernsey
and Jersey cows are named, too.
Their milk is high in butterfat, high
in protein, and does not contain a
lot of fluid-perfect for cheesemaking.
"These are not livestock," insists
Roberta. "It's important for our
workers to think of them as more
than just a number, more than just
so many head. All of our animals
have personalities."
As do the beautiful Great Pyrenees dogs that watch over the herd
constantly, alerting Roberta and her
family to any abnormalities or new
arrivals in the fields and barns. On
the day of our visit, the family collie made sure to show us two baby
goats that had been born just three
days before.

Three Graces Dairy produces cheese varieties from all over the world.

Sample the Western North Carolina Cheese Trail
The non-profit Western North Carolina Cheese Trail was established in 2012 by a small group
of local cheesemakers, and now includes 12 members, some of which welcome visitors.
Their stated goal was "to build community in the local industry, raise awareness about the
great cheeses being made here, and encourage customers to buy directly from small, independent cheesemakers."
The Western North Carolina Cheese Trail in turn gave birth to the annual Carolina Mountain
Cheese Fest, which attracts upwards of 1,500 visitors. The North Carolina Department of
Agriculture lists around 40 independent cheesemakers in the state. Close to half of those
are located in the western part of the state.
For more info on the WNC Cheese Trail:
wnccheesetrail.org
-JS

March/April 2017 59


http://www.wnccheesetrail.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017

Features
Festival Guide 2017
Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Photo Essay
Wytheville Loves Edith
Barry Glick, Garden Guy
Vanishing Landmarks of North Georgia
Cheese!
Departments
From the Editor
Contributors
Mill Creek Stories
Worth a Click
Creature Feature
The Good Walk
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Singing in the Garden
Festivals & Events
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Contributors
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - The Good Walk
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Festival Guide 2017
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Photo Essay
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Wytheville Loves Edith
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Barry Glick, Garden Guy
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Vanishing Landmarks of North Georgia
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cheese!
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Singing in the Garden
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2017 - Cover4
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