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, successive 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 his future wife, Desiree, persuaded him 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 their number of cows, 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 family farm. Having left budding careers in food and marketing in 2005, Jessica and Jeremy officially purchased the business. Under their ownership, Sweet Grass has expanded its cheesemaking 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. Disks undergo a short aging period of two weeks before being wrapped by hand and released for sale.
The resulting cheese has a golden-yellow paste, aromas of sautéed mushrooms and cream on the nose, and a rich, silky texture that coats the mouth. Flavors of sweet butter and popcorn linger, with hints of cellar and funk.
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.