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When one thinks of West Country Cheese the mind is instantly programmed to Cheddar and the role it plays within the nation’s psyche. The nation’s favourite cheese, which was born in the farms and smallholdings nestled around the Mendip hills, is still today, centuries later, the cornerstone of the British cheese industry.
At Rowcliffe, we proudly champion West Country artisan cheese producers whose hand-crafted methods still align with those centuries-old techniques and we are so very lucky that the South West produces so many varied and wonderful cheesemakers.
You only have to spend five minutes in the company of Tom Calver at Westcombe to see how one of the best examples of hand-crafted, traditional clothbound Cheddar production is combined with regenerative farming and pasture-led grazing on their farm in Somerset. The Calver family’s devotion and husbandry of their land and herd results in a wonderful cheese. Aged between 12 to 18 months the clothbound Cheddar is full of hazelnut and caramel notes with a delicate citrus finish.
Moving through Somerset to Puxton we find the Trethowan brothers Todd and Maugan who make the sublime Gorwyyd Caerphilly. The pair have been producing this excellent example of Caerphilly for over 25 years. Having recently won super gold at the World Cheese Awards their Caerphilly is really three cheeses in one; the rind has a mushroomy, umami flavour that leads to a creamy breakdown, while the centre is lactic and citrusy with that distinctive, crumbly texture you would expect from an award-winning Caerphilly. Both Westcombe and Gorwydd Caerphilly are staples of Rowcliffe’s Clemency Hall brand of hand-cut and wrapped artisan pre-packed range.
This year Rowcliffe’s are also proud to be launching a full range of cheeses from the talented team at King Stone Dairy in Gloucestershire. Led by David Jowett, King Stone has won countless awards over the past few years for their range of soft and washed rind cheeses resulting in a supreme champion at last year’s British Cheese Awards for Ashcombe. Ashcombe, Jowatts delicious take on a French Morbier, has also been selected for our Clemency Hall label which again showcases Rowcliffe’s pursuit of excellence when deciding on its artisan offering.
From Cornish Yarg to Rachel Goats Cheese and everything in between Rowcliffe’s partnership with the finest artisanal South West cheesemakers remains as committed today as it was when we began in 1967.