Oregon's Rogue Creamery now has 10 varieties of blue cheese in its repertoire—but this fudgy wheel started it all. Made since 1957 and aged in Rogue's Roquefort-inspired caves, it's the company's signature blue: approachable, buttery, and earthy.
Rogue was originally founded in 1933 as a cooperative creamery, and was bought by David Gremmels on a handshake from Ig Vella of Vella Cheese Company in 2002. Today, Rogue Creamery is a thriving business that produces a variety of award-winning cheeses. Milk for production comes from the company's own organic dairy in nearby Grants Pass. The dairy has 68 acres with a quarter-mile frontage on the river—a beautiful piece of property in a valley that used to be loaded with small dairies of 15-20 cows. Now the Rogue Creamery Dairy has 180 cows, mostly Brown Swiss and Holsteins. When the weather permits, the cows go out on pasture daily from March to October. They're not exclusively grass-fed, as they also get organic hay and grain.
Oregon Blue was one of the original cheeses made under the guidance of Ig Vella over fifty years ago. Made with raw milk and cave-aged for at least 90 days, its texture becomes fairly soft and creamy, with an ivory colored paste shot through with blue-green veins.
Flavors are smooth and subtle, with notes of caramel, butter, spice, and huckleberry.
Pair Oregon Blue with a viogner, a riesling, or a pinot noir. When it comes to beer, think dark: porters or stouts. A wedge of this blue also stands up nicely to a cup of coffee.