Owner and cheesemaker Wendy Mitchell founded Avalanche Cheese Company in 2008 in Basalt, CO to supply hand-crafted goat cheeses to the restaurants and shops of the Roaring Fork Valley. Today she and head cheesemaker Kevin McCullen produce a range of goat cheese products, from pasteurized fresh cheeses to raw milk aged, hard cheeses.
Milk is delivered fresh each morning from Avalanche's own pastures in Paonia, CO, where Bob Isaacson and Gene Wallace raise a mixed herd of Saneen, Alpine and Nubian goats. The herd is fed nutritious grains and hay to supplement pasture feeding, and no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used. The farm is working towards obtaining Organic Certification.
Wendy was inspired to make Midnight Blue after she spent a week working with Robin Congdon of Ticklemore Cheese and witnessed the production of Harbourne, which she considered a well-done goat's blue.
In making Midnight Blue the curd is cut, drained, and dry salted. It's first aged in a designated blue cheese aging room for 30 days, during which it's turned three times a week. Then it's wrapped and aged in a finished goods cooler for an additional 60 days.
Midnight Blue develops a pronounced natural rind, with a dense, slightly dry paste, dark-blue veins, and pronounced peppery flavors.
Pair it with wildflower honey and a glass of dry sherry.