La Casearia is a creamery and aging facility in the Veneto region of Italy. The history of the company dates back to the early 1900s, when Ernesto Carpenedo began working as a “casoin” (a word in local dialect for a cheesemonger) in a shop in the village of Preganziol. Ernesto eventually founded his own company, which is today run by his son Antonio and his grandsons Ernesto and Alessandro, who have over thirty years of experience in the dairy-cheese sector. Antonio has been devoting his attention to affinage since 1976, the year that he began steeping his first rounds of cheese in wine, giving birth to La Casearia’s signature Ubriaco (which translates into “drunken”).
Named Vento d’Estate for a “summer wind,” the inspiration for this cheese came to Antonio and his wife Giuseppina one day as they were driving home from picking up a few wheels of cheese. Passing a tractor that was pulling hay, they were overcome with its aroma and stopped to ask the farmer if they could buy some. After much experimentation, they found a way to age Vento d’Estate in oak barrels under a blanket of hay, in such a way that it would, after five months of aging, exhibit the aromas of a healthy meadow that they sensed that day, or as they describe, of a “neverending plateau swept by balmy air.”
With a waxy rind that displays bits of hay and a cream-colored, crumbly and dense paste, Vento d’Estate smells of wood and freshly cut grass. Flavor is milky with a sharp tang.
Pair it with a full bodied, non-tannic red wine.