The team at Apostle Whey Cheese has a new prized possession in their ever-expanding trophy cabinet after their brie was named the best white mould cheese in Australia.
It was an honour owners Julian and Dianne had known about for a couple of weeks, but couldn’t disclose until the awards on Thursday evening in Melbourne.
Julian said it was ‘absolutely the biggest thrill’ since starting Apostle Whey Cheese over 13 years ago.
He said while the cheesemakers and the shop staff were very much part of the success, the biggest contributors were his share farmers – son Luke and daughter-in-law Susan.
“We start off with the best quality milk we can get and only our own milk goes into our products and that quality and consistence is definitely the key factor,” he said.
“Luke and Susan were in the top 100 farms for milk quality two years in a row. The way they look after our cows and run our farm and the dairy gives us the very best quality milk to do what we do inside our production facility.
“By the time they’ve finished milking the vat is down to 4-5 degrees, so nothing has a chance to grow. When we make cheese, it’s with the previous evening’s milk which is piped straight from the dairy, through the pasteuriser and then we make the cheese.”
Julian said Apostle Whey Cheese had won many gold medals at a state level for five different cheese varieties over the years, but this was the first time they had won nationally.
“It’s very pleasing to finally take out one of the big prizes. To be able to say you make the best white mould cheese in Australia is great encouragement. It’s very gratifying,” he said.
“We can now brag a bit about having the best brie in Australia, which is significant when you think there were over 50 cheeses from all the state competitions in our category.
“You have to remember we’re competing against the big boys for these awards. To be able to push them aside on this occasion shows we’re making our cheese with passion – not machinery.”
Julian said he had toyed with the idea of sending cheese to an international cheese competition in England mid-year and would now give it serious consideration.
He said the award was another positive on an already fantastic season.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have a marvellous Spring and grow a lot of feed. Of course we’re affected by grain prices up north, but we have nothing to complain about,” he said.
“Our industry is tough, but there’s light at end of the tunnel. We have to be positive about the future. The assets we’ve all built up over time is what we all need to think about…look back to where we’ve all come from – we’ve done pretty well.
“All industries have their ups and downs and as farmers we accept that. You only have bad times so you can appreciate the good times.”
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