As farmers and ranchers, the Giacomini family have had a presence in Point Reyes for many decades. A descendant of Italian mountain dairy producers, Bob Giacomini began milking cows on his Point Reyes dairy in 1959.
The dairy is near Point Reyes Station, just an hour north of San Francisco on America’s west coast. It is a stunningly beautiful location with a temperate climate, influenced by the salty air that comes straight off the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Pacific ocean
Over the years, Bob and his wife Dean, together with their four daughters, Karen, Diana, Lynn and Jill, developed a shared vision of producing an all-natural farmstead cheese. This dream was realized in August, 2000, when they founded Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and produced the first vat of their first cheese, Original Blue.
Milk for production of all the Giacomini's cheeses comes from their own closed herd of Holstein cows that graze the pastures overlooking Tomales Bay.
Production for Bay Blue begins at 3:30am when milk is pumped to the cheese room in time for the morning's cheesemaking. There, it is pasteurized and after the wheels are formed, cheeses are allowed to sit in their molds overnight.
The following day, after unmolding, cheeses are hand-salted over a three day period before being pierced on the fourth day. They are then taken to the curing room for about three weeks where they are cradled in a vertical position on racks, each wheel being rotated a quarter turn each day. This ensures that the butterfat is evenly distributed throughout the cheese.
In the early stages of their three month maturation, each wheel is pierced with stainless steel needles. This allows the air into the cheese, where it reacts with the enzymes and bacteria and causes the development of the blue veining.