It takes a leap of faith for a person to take a buyout from their job, buy a farm and a few sheep, and plan to build a sheep dairy to make an artisan sheep milk cheese. In fact it is the first sheep dairy in Kentucky. But that is exactly what the Dotson family did in what they call a “SPIRITUAL UNDERTAKING” because they were lead to do something different with their lives.
With names like Versailles and Paris, Kentucky was bound to have a French influence in it’s farmstead sheep milk cheeses. The inspiration for Good Shepherd Sheep Cheese dates back for centuries in the Basque region of the Pyrenees mountains.
This unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese is one of the oldest cheeses known in recorded history. Records of these venerable cheeses go back as far as the first century B.C. in the Roman market town of Toulouse. It was made in the traditional manner by Shepherds, in stone huts, high in the mountains during the spring and summer when the sheep migrate to greener pastures, After the sheep milk is processed the curds are heated, molded, lightly pressed, salted and aged in cool caves for a minimum of 90 days.
Known locally as the “Farmers Dessert” cheese, it is often served with black cherry jam or glazed figs. We love our Good Shepherd Sheep Cheese drizzled with honey.
Terrior (pronounced tear-WAHR) is another term becoming more and more popular these days. In terms of cheese, terrior is how the French explain the influence of the land, the flora and the region combine to give each cheese it’s own distinctive taste. These factors contribute to the earthy, nutty, mushroomy flavors that are inherent in our Good Shepherd Sheep Cheese.
Our sheep graze on rolling hill pastures from April thru October that are full of native herbs, clover, Timothy and Orchardgrass. In turn they produce a full bodied high fat milk that is perfect for making a high quality farmstead sheep milk cheese. Experience a true taste of Kentucky in each wedge of Good Shepherd Sheep Cheese.
Each wheel of our artisan cheese is carefully hand crafted using old world techniques. Aged a minimum of 60 days in a cave-like environment of 55 degrees & 85% humidity.