Located in the beautiful, rolling countryside of the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont, Jasper Hill Farm was bought by brothers Andy and Mateo Kehler in 1998.
When the farm came into their possession, it was extremely run-down, but by 2003, after five years of hard work, Andy and Mateo acquired their first 15 Ayrshire heifers. The herd now numbers around 180 and, thanks to careful management and focus on building excellent genetics, they have one of the highest quality milking herds in the United States.
Ayrshire milk is particularly well-suited to cheesemaking. In terms of fat and protein, it's not as high as Jersey or Guernsey but not as low as Holstein. The way in which the fats and proteins break down are a perfect platform for the development of an excellent cheese.
The herd grazes from late spring to early fall and over successive years the grazing land at Jasper Hill has been improved by planting a wide variety of clovers, grasses and legumes to enhance the flavor of the milk.
In addition to the farm and cheesemaking, the brothers have also developed another arm of the business, The Cellars at Jasper Hill. The Cellars, which comprise of 22,000 square feet of cheese maturing caves were designed and built not only to house Jasper Hill's own cheeses but also to mature the cheeses of several other Vermont based producers.
Jasper Hill's own range of cheeses includes Alpha Tolman, Bayley Hazen Blue, Constant Bliss, Harbison, Moses Sleeper and Winnimere.
Named after a historic local pioneer scout, Moses Sleeper is similar in flavor to a French Reblochon but with a milder rind.
For production, milk is pasteurized and heated to 98.6 F and allowed to ripen via enzymatic process. Once the curds are in the molds, they drain naturally for 18 hours which allows for the maximum retention of moisture in the finished cheese.
Despite some pink patches on the exterior rind, Moses Sleeper is not a washed rind cheese. There is some Bacterium Linens present in the original cultures (the same bacteria used for washed rind cheeses) and this is allowed to develop naturally during the course of the 40-60 day maturation period.