Good Shepherd Cheese
Good Shepherd Cheese

Taste The Tradition

For more than 4,000 years shepherds have moved their sheep high into the Pyrenees mountains in the isolated Basque region of France.  The isolation of the Basque people gave them a history steeped in rich traditions.  As the shepherds tended their flocks high in the Pyrenees mountains each summer, they milked the sheep and transformed the milk into a wonderfully creamy, nutty and earthy cheese that populated the street markets in the tiny mountain villages.  This cheese became part of everyday life for these rugged mountain people and represented the fruits of their labor.  So much so that this traditional sheep cheese became known as "The Farmers Desert" as it was regularly served with black cherry jam.  These Pyrenees Mountain cheeses remained hidden from the rest of the world for centuries.  But today Pyrenees sheep cheeses are regularly regarded among the best cheeses in every part of the world.

When Sanford & Colleen Dotson were growing up in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky in the 1960's, their small communities were largely isolated from the rest of the world.  Influenced by the traditions of their Scots-Irish heritage handed down through their families for generations, they were surrounded with their mountain language and accent, faith, mountain cooking, coal mining, hog killings, old-time music and feuding stories. All of these mountain traditions shaped their future and the direction of what they wanted out of life.  When these new shepherds were searching for recipes for making their new sheep cheese, they knew they wanted to make a gourmet cheese.  And when the first batch of their Pyrenees mountain cheese was made, they realized this was a cheese that could not be mass produced.  It had to be made in small artisan batches, hand stirred and molded, hand washed during the 3 to 6 month aging period.  It had to be done in the traditional way.  That is why in every wedge of Good Shepherd Cheese, you know that you will be able to Taste The Tradition.


Now with their sheep farm and Kentucky's first sheep dairy located at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains in the rolling hills of Bath County, the Dotson's feel like they are back home with their roots.  And their Pyrenees Mountain Cheese seems to feel right at home nestled in these cozy mountains of Kentucky.  It looks like a match made in heaven.  You can definitley call it the Taste of Two Traditions.