When thinking of Vermont, plaid shirts, maple syrup, and colorful autumn leaves come to mind, but the Green Mountain State is also prolific in its production of cheese. Lucky for us, there’s an actual “Cheese Trail” that we can follow to find a wide variety of the milk byproduct!
Many farms offer tours and even cheese tastings, so this trail is sure to be a winner among wine and cheese lovers everywhere. With more than 50 cheesemakers, we won’t have any problem finding our favorite dairy product.
Get a map of the entire selection of farms here.
Cabot is the largest cheese producer in the state and is stocked in almost every store. But touring this farmer-owned cooperative in Cabot, Vermont is quite a treat. The visitor center allows travelers to watch the cheese-making process and, of course, samples are readily available.
Shelburne Farms in Shelburne turns out cheddars with milk from Brown Swiss cows that inhabit the fields near Lake Champlain. There are guided tours of the breeding barn and a children’s farmyard in the agricultural education center.
Vermont Creamery in Websterville started as one farm, but today uses the milk of goats from twenty-five farms to produce aged and culinary cheeses like chévre and fromage blanc. The Ayers Brook Dairy has the nation’s first demonstration goat dairy for those interested in the process, and a visitor center features the company’s entire line of cheeses.
Blue Ledge Farm in Leicaster offers award-winning goat milk cheese, from common chévres to their signature “Lake’s Edge,” a cheese with an ash-colored vein running through it. A family-run affair, the farm offers tours with cheese tastings from May through October.
Plymouth Cheese Factory has been making cheese for 125 years, so they must be doing something right. Using original equipment from the 1890 factory built by John Coolidge (Calvin’s dad), the company produces artisan cheese in the fashion of the 1600s. There’s even a cheese museum open for tours!
Grafton Village Cheese in Grafton was started as a cooperative in 1892 to help local farmers turn abundant milk into a food that could be stored. Today it is run by the Windham Foundation and still uses cow’s milk to create interesting taste combinations like shallot and white pepper cheddar and truffle cheddar cheese.
On the Hunt Along the Cheese Trail
Following the Cheese Trail is a great way to explore farm-to-table options in Vermont. With 150 varieties of cheese available, it would be easy to eat our way across the state. I can’t think of a better RV trip than touring several farms, picking up an assortment of cheeses, and washing them down with wine each night by the campfire! Be sure to download a map and get started on your own ‘sharp’ scavenger hunt!
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