David Gremmels and Cary Bryant bought Rogue Creamery on a handshake from Ig Vella (Vella Cheese Company) in 2002. Rogue was originally founded in 1935 by Ig's father, Tom, who ran it as a successful creamery for many years. Upon Tom's death in 1998 (aged 100), Ig took over and then finally sold it to David and Cary in 2002, with the stipulation that they would continue to make the creamery’s signature cheeses according to tradition. Today, Rogue Creamery is a thriving business that produces a variety of award winning cheeses in addition to the originals that the Vella family created. Milk for production comes from Delmar at Rogueview Dairy. Delmar has 70 acres with 1/4 mile frontage on the river - a beautiful piece of property in a valley that used to be loaded with small dairies of 15-20 cows. Delmar started with 90 cows and has grown to 200, where he has held for the past 15 years. The milkers go out on pasture daily, when weather permits, (from March-October), but are not exclusively grass-fed, as they also get hay and grain. Although Caveman was one of the original cheeses envisioned by David & Cary when they acquired the creamery, the outstanding success of Rogue River Blue essentially meant that development of Caveman had to be put on hold.
Released at the end of 2009 for the first time, Caveman is made using an complex combination of starter cultures and molds and a much longer production time. The curd is handled very carefully to allow greater retention of moisture and a longer aging time, and the cheeses are aged in caves with limestone walls. All these factors contribute to a very well-rounded cheese with sweet, caramel and nutty flavors balanced by spice and pepper.
The texture is moist and dense, shot through with green-blue veins set into a pale golden paste.