Located in the beautiful rolling countryside of the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont, Jasper Hill Farm was bought by brothers Andy and Mateo Kehler in 1998. When the farm came into their possession, it was extremely run-down, but by 2003, after five years of hard work, Andy and Mateo acquired their first 15 Ayrshire heifers. Thanks to careful management and focus on building excellent genetics, today they have one of the highest quality milking herds in the United States. Ayrshire milk is particularly well suited to cheesemaking; in terms of fat and protein, it's not as high as Jersey or Guernsey but not as low as Holstein. The way in which the fats and proteins break down are a perfect platform for the development of an excellent cheese.
The herd grazes from late spring to early fall and over successive years the grazing land at Jasper Hill has been improved by planting a wide variety of clovers, grasses and legumes to enhance the flavor of the milk. In addition to the farm and cheesemaking, the brothers have also developed another arm of the business, The Cellars at Jasper Hill. The Cellars, which comprise of 22,000 square feet of cheese maturing caves were designed and built not only to house Jasper Hill's own cheeses but also to mature the cheeses of several other Vermont based producers.
This cheese was created when the Cellars teamed up with Murray’s Cheese in New York City to create an original for Eleven Madison Park’s “Iconic New York” menu. The name “Greensward” was inspired by the first name for Central Park, “the Greensward Plan.” The spruce-wrapped cheese, which is created in the style of the famous Alpine Vacherin Mont d’Or, was developed after much experimentation: adjustments in the micro climate, adding yeast to the Virtue Cider-based brine that the rounds are bathed in, and transferring the cheese to different caves.
With an orange-hued, textured rind enclosed by a spruce jacket, this cheese is visually striking. Its off-white paste is spoonably creamy and silky, while taste is pungent and perfumed with floral, resiny notes. Hints of ripe fruit, wet barnwood, kalamata olives and leaves can be detected, and rounded, savory flavors of broth, meat and booze linger on the palate.
Pair Greensward with a Bourbon or with a Pinot Noir.