Family Heirloom BellaVitano
Established in 1939 by Paolo Sartori, Sartori Cheese Company is a fourth generation family owned business based in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Specializing in aged Italian-style cheeses, the company sources milk from local, family owned farms within a close radius to their production facility. The herd size at each farm averages 75 cows and many of the farms have worked with Sartori for multiple generations. The company also operates an incentive program that encourages each farm to produce the best quality milk possible.
For production of Sartori’s cheeses, the milk is heated, cultures and rennet are added and, once the milk has coagulated, the curd is cut, releasing the whey, which is drained off.
The remaining curd is hand-salted and transferred into hoops, then pressed for several hours. Newly formed wheels of cheese are placed in a warm “overnight” room to encourage the expulsion of more whey.
Wheels are then trimmed by hand and placed in a brine bath, which encourages the formation of a rind. After the brine bath, the cheese is moved to a curing room for further maturation.
Each variety of cheese is matured for a different length of time. Every batch is tasted at regular intervals during this period and, when they are deemed ready, released for sale.
Family Heirloom BellaVitano was released in 2014 in celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary. Wheels of the limited-edition cheese are carefully selected from the highest-quality batches of BellaVitano Gold, an original cheese created by Sartori’s Master cheesemakers, to undergo further maturation. After 18 months, they’re ready for sale.
Slightly sweet, rich and boozy, this extra-aged version takes all the memorable aspects of BellaVitano Gold and amps them up. Scents of cultured butter, sweetness and grass give way to strong fermented flavors. Texture is supremely crunchy, dry and crumbly.
Pair Family Heirloom BellaVitano with a Chardonnay, a Beaujolais, a Pinot Noir or a Merlot. For beer pairings, try a malty ale, a fruit beer, a porter or a stout.