Black Pepper BellaVitano
Established in 1939 by Paolo Sartori, Sartori Cheese Company is a fourth generation family owned business based in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Primarily renowned for the production of hard and Italian-style cheeses, the company sources milk from local, family owned farms within a close radius to the production facility, many of whom have worked with Sartori for multiple generations. The company also operates an incentive program that encourages each farm to produce the best quality milk possible.
For production of Sartori cheeses, the milk is heated, cultures and rennet are added and, once the milk has coagulated, the curd is cut, releasing the whey which is drained off. The remaining curd is hand-salted and transferred into hoops and then pressed for several hours. After that, the newly formed wheels of cheese are placed in a warm “overnight” room to encourage the expulsion of more whey. Wheels are then trimmed by hand and placed in a brine bath which encourages the formation of a rind. After the brine bath, the cheese is moved to a curing room for further maturation.
Each variety of cheese is matured for a different length of time. Every batch is tasted at regular intervals during this period and, when they are deemed ready, released for sale.
For the production of some of Sartori’s cheeses, carefully selected wheels are chosen to undergo a third stage of finishing. This last stage involves the application by hand or soaking of a proprietary blend of one of a variety of coatings. For production of Black Pepper BellaVitano, wheels of BellaVitano Gold are hand-coated with premium coarse-ground black pepper.
The spicy bite of the black pepper balances and contrasts with the rich, rounded fruity notes of the interior paste. Due to the cheese’s extended maturation, the paste also has a slightly crystalline texture which also adds a layer of complexity and sweetness to the flavor.
Black Pepper BellaVitano pairs well with roast beef and burgers, crusty artisan breads and dried nuts. Good wine pairings include Chianti and lighter reds, and Chardonnay. Beers include India Pale Ales, American Pale Ales and Belgian Trappist Ales.