Rockhill Creamery is a farmstead operation located in the town of Richmond, on a rocky hillside in Utah’s Cache Valley. The historic property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; its farmhouse dates back to 1893, while the hay barn dates to 1915. At various times having been home to a subsistence farm, a dairy farm and a thriving egg business, the property was purchased by Jennifer Hines and Pete Schropp in 1986. Hines, who loves cooking and had been experimenting with cheesemaking in her kitchen, and Schropp, who loves animals and had been raising dairy heifers for nearby farms, turned to cheesemaking in order to create a value-added product that would keep the historic farm financially viable. They opened Rockhill Creamery in 2005. In 2007, they finished construction of an underground cheese aging facility. Today they produce cheese twice a week using only the milk from their six Brown Swiss cows.
Cheese at Rockhill farm is produced in 125-gallon batches. After ripening and coagulation of the raw milk, the curd mass is cut into cubes, then stirred and “cooked” for 50 minutes. Whey is drained off, and then the curd is put into cheesecloth-lined hoops. Hoops are left on the drain table, where they’re turned and flipped five times that afternoon before the wheels are moved to a brine solution and then into the aging cave. Wasatch Mountain can be aged anywhere from 2 months to 1 year or more before going to market (versions aged over 1 year are labeled Wasatch Mountain Reserve).
When ready for sale, Wasatch Mountain has crumbly and firm paste with small holes. Aroma is easy on the nose, smelling of salt and fresh milk. Yet on the palate, the cheese is very sharp and tart, with a rich, grassy flavor that lingers. Hints of nuts, butter, must and banana can be detected.
Pair it with an IPA or with a bright, bold red wine.