Located in Nicasio, California, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company is owned and operated by the Lafranchi family. Founded by Fredolino Lafranchi in 1919, Lafranchi Ranch, was a dream come true for the Swiss immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 17. The ranch became a family operation years later when Will Lafranchi, Fredolino’s eldest son took over running the business. Throughout this period, family connections to Switzerland remained strong and Will, along with his family, visited many times. These visits were filled with locally produced food, including artisanal cheeses at every meal. Inspired by his experiences in the old country, Will dreamed of producing great cheese on his ranch. Unfortunately, Will was unable to achieve this dream during his lifetime, but his children who now run the ranch, founded Nicasio Valley Cheese Company. Nicasio Valley Cheese focuses on bringing cheeses inspired by their family heritage to the U.S. Using rotational grazing for their herd of 400 cows and sustainable practices throughout the ranch, 100% of their herd is certified organically raised and their milk is used for the production of cheese. The creamery is located in a converted milking barn and recycled shipping containers are used as the aging rooms. Halleck Creek is a large-format, bloomy rinded cheese made in the style of Camembert. Considered the big brother of Nicasio Valley’s Formagella, it has a dry, snow-white rind and a mineral aroma.
Inside the 3 to 4-week old cheese is an ivory to pale yellow paste that develops a decadently oozy texture and a grassy aroma. The flavor is mild with a touch of tang.
With its mild flavors, Halleck Creek is best paired with a White Bordeaux or dry Sparkling Wine. Serving suggestions include pairing it with fruit, in salads, or on sandwiches.