Patty and Rodger Scholten began working their 400-acre dairy farm in Weybridge, Vermont, in 1995. Although they started with a mix of breeds, in 2007 the Scholtens added Dutch Belted cattle, which now form the backbone of the herd. Belteds are a rare but productive dairy breed originally from the Netherlands. The cow’s wide white belly separates her black forequarters from her black rump, and it’s an orderly look, neatly tripartite alongside the puzzle-patterned Holstein Friesians that also dot the pasture.
The Scholten Family Farm is certified organic, and Patty took up cheesemaking in 2009 as a way for the family to escape the economic vagaries of commodity organic milk production. She first introduced a fresh cheese, but soon developed the recipe for Weybridge. She prizes the Belteds’ milk for its heavy fat and protein content, which contributes depth and richness to the cheese.
Although it’s made on-site at the farm, the wheels are aged at The Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont, and marketed as Jasper Hill Farm Weybridge. This step saves the family the expense and complexities of building and managing a cave and peddling the cheese, letting them focus on husbandry and cheesemaking.
Weybridge is a bloomy-rind, lactic cheese made with pasteurized organic milk, ripe at four to eight weeks. Its thin, chalky rind is mushroomy and pungent against the soft and yielding creamline, which is gooey and unctuous when fully ripe. The paste blooms with notes of nut and savory butter, but this richness is balanced by piquant acidity. It’s an earthy cheese, prismatic in its complexity.
Wines for Weybridge
Weybridge pairs best with medium- to full-bodied white wines, especially those offering suggestions of nut and stone fruit. Try Arneis, Viognier (Condrieu), Chenin, or Pinot Blanc. Unoaked but buttery Chardonnay also works well, as will nearly any white tinged with bottle age. Compatible reds are fruity and shiny and only mildly tannic: Gamay (Cru Beaujolais), Oregon Pinot Noir, or Barbera.
Or, to honor the cheese’s mix of oomph and elegance, use Weybridge as an excuse to open vintage Champagne.
Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm Weybridge
Sold as a 4-oz. medallion | about $24/lb.
Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro Bend, Vermont