David Gremmels and Cary Bryant bought Rogue Creamery on a handshake from Ig Vella (Vella Cheese Company) in 2002. Rogue was originally founded in 1935 by Ig's father, Tom, who ran it as a successful creamery for many years. Upon Tom's death in 1998 (aged 100), Ig took over and then finally sold it to David and Cary in 2002, with the stipulation that they would continue to make the creamery’s signature cheeses according to tradition.
Today, Rogue Creamery is a thriving business that produces a variety of award winning cheeses in addition to the originals that the Vella family created.
Milk for production comes from Delmar at Rogueview Dairy. Delmar has 70 acres with 1/4 mile frontage on the river - a beautiful piece of property in a valley that used to be loaded with small dairies of 15-20 cows. Delmar started with 90 cows and has grown to 200, where he has held for the past 15 years. The milkers go out on pasture daily, when weather permits, (from March-October), but are not exclusively grass-fed, as they also get hay and grain.
For production of Smokey Blue, Rogue selects some of their wheels of Oregon Blue and cold smokes them for 16 hours over northwest-grown hazelnut shells. At the time of release, wheels are about six months of age.
The texture of Smokey Blue is smooth and dense, punctuated with deep, blue-colored pockets of mold. The exterior rind is a golden-brown color.
Flavors are a wonderfully complex balance, with sweet notes of wood, earth and grass, balanced by spice and smoke.