Owned by Marisa Mauro, Ploughgate Creamery is located near Craftsbury Common, Vermont.
Having worked extensively at several well-known cheesemaking operations in the northeast, Marisa and former business partner, Princess Maclean, founded Ploughgate in May 2008. Princess is still involved with sales and special events for the creamery.
Ploughgate occupies a building that was an existing creamery, and which Marisa and Princess bought from a cheesemaking couple that were on the verge of retirement. Together they renovated the building and started their own business.
Both sheep's and cow's milk is currently sourced from small local dairies, although there are plans to develop the Creamery's own herd within the next few years. Ayrshire cow's milk is used for production of Hartwell, and comes from a 50 animal herd owned by the Hancock family, located about 18 miles away. It is a small, family run farm, that has been operating on the same land for the last 99 years.
Marisa produces a small range of cow's and sheep's milk cheeses, the first of which was Hartwell, named for a pond near the creamery.
The vision for Hartwell arose from a shared passion for bloomy rinded cheeses. Made from organic, pasteurized cow's milk, much in the style of a camembert, Hartwell is a soft, mold ripened cheese. The rind is predominently white, but, in the style of many Normandy Camemberts, is also mottled with pale, brown patches that appear when the cheese is at its peak.
At a relatively young age, Hartwell is transferred to The Cellars at Jasper Hill for further maturation to the point of sale.
The texture of Hartwell is smooth and yielding and the interior is china-white in color.
Flavors are clean, rich and accessible but complex, with notes of earth, mushrooms and barnyard and a long, pleasing finish.