Located in Nicasio, California, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company is owned and operated by the Lafranchi family. Founded by Fredolino Lafranchi in 1919, Lafranchi Ranch, was a dream come true for the Swiss immigrant who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 17. The ranch became a family operation years later when Will Lafranchi, Fredolino’s eldest son took over running the business. Throughout this period, family connections to Switzerland remained strong and Will, along with his family, visited many times. These visits were filled with locally produced food, including artisanal cheeses at every meal. Inspired by his experiences in the old country, Will dreamed of producing great cheese on his ranch. Unfortunately, Will was unable to achieve this dream during his lifetime, but his children who now run the ranch, founded Nicasio Valley Cheese Company. Nicasio Valley Cheese focuses on bringing cheeses inspired by their family heritage to the U.S. Using rotational grazing for their herd of 400 cows and sustainable practices throughout the ranch, 100% of their herd is certified organically raised and their milk is used for the production of cheese. The creamery is located in a converted milking barn and recycled shipping containers are used as the aging rooms. Made in the tradition of classic Swiss-Italian Alpine cheeses, Nicasio Reserve is a firm cheese aged for at minimum, three months.
It has a pronounced aroma that is lightly fruity. The dense, smooth paste has eyes dotted heavily throughout the light yellow-colored interior. It has a fresh cream flavor at first, which melds into rich notes of hazelnuts, fruit and grass. The finish is reminiscent of the sweet cream at the beginning.
Being an alpine style cheese, Nicasio Reserve pairs very well with wheat beer, as well as Trappist style ales. It is versatile with wines, pairing nicely with fruity reds and various whites. When cooking, Nicasio Reserve is very versatile. It can be used in recipes as varied as grilled cheese to Frittata since it is an excellent melting cheese.