After working 30 years as a cheesemaker and as a cheesemaking consultant, Peter Dixon opened his own creamery in 2013 in Westminster West, Vermont, along with his wife Rachel Fritz Schall and her sister Alex Schall.
Parish Hill’s cheeses are inspired by the traditional cheeses of Italy. They’re handmade in small batches using raw milk, which is produced at the Elm Lea Farm at the Putney School. The farm is just five minutes down the road from the cheese house, and its milking herd grazes on fresh pasture from June to October. Parish Hill cheese production happens from May to November in order to take advantage of the pastures that give a highly aromatic quality to the milk, resulting in complex and subtle flavor variations.
Milk for cheesemaking is ripened using homegrown cheese cultures, which are produced by inoculating the farm’s raw milk with pure bacterial cultures and then propagating them continuously. Traditional calf rennet is sourced from Europe and Quebec, and sea salt is sourced from the Maine Sea Salt Company in Marshfield.
Humble Herdsman is a whole milk, semi-soft tomme-style cheese. During 3-5 months of aging, wheels are repeatedly washed with local hard cider.
Humble Herdsman has a golden-hued rind surrounding a smooth yet dense paste spattered with small holes. Flavor is mild and nutty with grassy, vegetal notes.
Pair it with a white wine from the Piedmont, such as Roero or Langhe Arneis.