Owned and run by Pierre Kolisch, Juniper Grove Farm is located on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain Range, a stunningly beautiful area in Oregon.
The farm was established in 1985 and is home to a herd of 110 goats and a small, vibrant farmstead cheesemaking operation. The goats browse the pastures surrounding the dairy year round, eating shrubs, grass, and alfalfa. Since the geology in this region reflects its volcanic past, the soil is particularly rich in minerals, which is reflected in the flavor of the milk and Juniper Grove's cheeses.
An attorney by training, later in life Pierre decided to pursue his passion for cheese. Having acquired the farm, he worked in Normandy by apprenticing with Camembert cheesemaker, François Durand, and also earned a degree at the National Dairy School in Poligny before returning to the United States in 1987.
Pierre makes a range of farmstead goat cheeses largely inspired by French recipes, and uses European methods.
The inspiration for Tumalo Tomme was Tomme de Savoie, an aged mountain cheese from eastern France. The word "tomme" or "tome" in French ("tomas" in Italian) simply means "round." It can therefore be used to describe either a cow's, sheep's or goat's milk cheese.
Although Tomme de Savoie is a cow's milk cheese, Kolisch's version is made from raw goat's milk. Twice a day he milks the 95 goats on his farm, combining the evening and morning milk. Only about 45, 4lb. wheels of Tumalo Tomme are produced each week.
After production, cheeses are aged on pine boards in the cellar.
The paste is firm, yet creamy and smooth. Flavors include hints of hay and salt. While summer cheeses are fruitier and more flowery, winter cheeses are richer and more "meaty."
Tumalo Tomme pairs well with light-bodied white wines such as Chenin Blanc, Alsacian Pinot Blanc and Vouvray.