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 couldnâ€™t disclose until the awards on Thursday evening in Melbourne.
Julian said it was â€˜absolutely the biggest thrillâ€™ 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 â€“ son Luke and daughter-in-law Susan.
â€œWe 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,â€ he said.
â€œLuke 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.
â€œBy the time theyâ€™ve finished milking the vat is down to 4-5 degrees, so nothing has a chance to grow. When we make cheese, itâ€™s with the previous eveningâ€™s milk which is piped straight from the dairy, through the pasteuriser and then we make the cheese.â€
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.
â€œItâ€™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. Itâ€™s very gratifying,â€ he said.
â€œWe 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.
â€œYou have to remember weâ€™re competing against the big boys for these awards. To be able to push them aside on this occasion shows weâ€™re making our cheese with passion â€“ not machinery.â€
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.
â€œWeâ€™ve been very fortunate to have a marvellous Spring and grow a lot of feed. Of course weâ€™re affected by grain prices up north, but we have nothing to complain about,â€ he said.
â€œOur industry is tough, but thereâ€™s light at end of the tunnel. We have to be positive about the future. The assets weâ€™ve all built up over time is what we all need to think about…look back to where weâ€™ve all come from â€“ weâ€™ve done pretty well.
â€œAll industries have their ups and downs and as farmers we accept that. You only have bad times so you can appreciate the good times.â€
If you haven’t tried Southern Briez, you can purchase some online, direct from us by clicking here.