Founded by Al and Desiree Wehner in 2000, Sweet Grass Dairy is steeped in dairy farming tradition. Since their arrival in the U.S. from Germany, successibe generations of Al’s family have been dairy farmers in New York State. However, when Al moved to Georgia to attend college in the early 1970s, the warm winters combined with meeting his future wife, Desiree, persuaded Al to stay.
For the first 20 years of its existence, the property that is now Sweet Grass Dairy was a conventional dairy farm. In the early 1990s, the Wehners attended a seminar at a dairy conference on rotational grazing that changed everything. Inspired by the concept of rotating the herd through different paddocks each day, the Wehners reinvented their entire farm by reducing the number of cows in their herd, investing in irrigation systems, and eventually taking cheesemaking courses in California. This transformed Sweet Grass Dairy into the farm that it is today. In addition, they also acquired a small herd of goats.
Fast forward to 2002, when Al and Desiree’s daughter Jessica and her husband Jeremy began working on the farm. Having left budding careers in food and marketing in 2005, Jessica and Jeremy officially purchased the farm from her parents. Under their ownership, Sweet Grass has expanded its cheese-making operations and has now gained national recognition.
Green Hill is a double cream cow’s milk cheese made in the style of Camembert. The cheese is created over a five-hour process that includes hand ladling the curds into molds. Green Hill has a short aging period of two weeks before it is wrapped by hand and released for sale.
The result is a cheese that has a rich, silky texture that coats the mouth with a lush sweet-butter flavor. It has a thin, white bloomy rind that covers a golden yellow colored paste.
This cheese is best paired with a sparking wine, that will cut through the richness of the paste. It can also be paired successfully with Belgian Trippel ale. Serve Green Hill with sweet preserves, dried figs, local honey, mild salamis, or a bright tasting piece of fruit like watermelon.