Crottin (Laura Chenel)
Now located in the state-of-the-art new creamery in Sonoma wine country, Laura Chenel's Chèvre has been in operation since the late 1970’s. Laura Chenel was one of a small group of women cheesemakers to spearhead the production of goat's milk cheeses in the United States. Having always been passionate about goats, Laura started her dairy in a former snail-processing plant in Santa Rosa. In 2006 she sold the company to French family cheese producers, Laiteries H. Triballat, who continue the tradition of Laura Chenel’s cheesemaking of both fresh and aged cheese. Milk for production comes from family goat dairies located in California and Nevada. High quality milk is crucial to excellent cheese production and the company has very close relationships with their producers to ensure excellent animal health, nutrition and general well being.
Based on the French cheese of the same name, Laura Chenel’s Crottin is shaped by hand into the traditional format of a small cylinder. Cheeses are released after about two weeks of age when a gnetle surface mold has started to grow on the surface of the cheese, creating a natural rind. Cheeses have a dense, slightly chalky texture and a delicate, thin and slightly chewy rind.
Flavors are pleasantly tangy with hints of citrus and cooked milk and an underlying note of salt.
Pair it with a Loire style wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Vouvray, with herbal notes rather than strong fruit. American Pale Ales work well too.