Sean O’Connor had been making cheese in various creameries around New York for several years before starting his own company R and G Cheese Makers nearly a decade ago. (R and G stands for his two sons, Ryan and Gavin). Having settled in Cohoes, New York, Sean sources both cows’ milk and goat’s milk from two nearby farms in Ballston Spa. Sean works with one other cheesemaker, Jason Lippman and, depending on the season, they produce between 100-500 pounds of cheese per week across several different varieties. Named for the white mold “eclipsing” a dark layer of ash covering the cheese, Eclipse is a soft-textured, ash-ripened cheese made from pasteurized goat’s milk. Inspiration for its production came after a long period of experimentation and its popularity resulted in it being featured 2 years in a row (2010 and 2011) on a cheeseboard of the US Open.
Eclipse has a dense yet smooth paste with flavors of sweet, fresh cream and mild goat.
The ash that coats the rind of the cheese helps to balance out the acidity in the creating mellow and buttery notes.
Eclipse pairs well with a Pinot Noir, bringing out the cheese’s earthy and mushroomy qualities.