Forbes has a piece on the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, a don’t-miss event for cheese lovers in the region:
By most estimates the Green Mountain State has more cheese makers per capita than any other place, and about 45 producers belong to the Vermont Cheese Council. The state is home to the nation’s largest cheese aging cave, a 22,000 square foot facility consisting of seven underground vaults. It is owned by Jasper Hill Farm, one of the most acclaimed dairies in the cheese-mad state, but shared and used for aging by several artisanal cheese makers.
Now Vermont is doing more than just making and selling great cheese, they are using it to drive tourism and educate the public. The Vermont Cheese Trail (downloadable as a pdf file) includes about 20 diaries open to the public and offering some sort of tour, many with cheese tasting, and these dot the state in a visitor-friendly manner from the southern border to the Canadian border, east, west and central. There is no spot in the state far from a cheese maker. The Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company just opened (last month) an impressive new public facility showcasing both its own production and the sale of cheese from numerous Vermont artisans, plus an ice cream stand, in an industrial complex in Windsor that is already home to the Simon Pearce glassblowing plant and very popular Harpoon Brewery with tours, beer tasting and a restaurant.
Cheese fans should put Sunday, July 22 on their calendars. That’s the date of the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival, an annual event featuring more than 200 Vermont cheeses, along with other locally made artisanal foods, wood fired pizza, Vermont beers, and award-winning Vermont wines. There will be a live cooking show and cheese making demonstration, plus two seminars, How Cheese Works and Matchmaking Vermont Style, which pairs the state’s best wines and cheeses. The festival is held at Shelburne Farms just outside Burlington, and general admission is $40, or $50 with a beer, wine and spirits tasting ticket.
(photos ©2012 vtcheesefest.com)