New winelands deli showcases the intricate art of award-winning cheese making
Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar has churned out SA Champion status at this year’s SA Dairy Championships by soaring above all other competitors in the Raw Milk Semi Hard or Hard Cheese Category. The cheese is made by hand in limited quantities at Waterkloof Estate on the outskirts of Somerset West.
The seven-month matured cheese that took top honours exudes a harmonious savoury and nutty flavour, which is in perfect balance with saltiness and acidity.
Notably, it is made with unpasteurized (raw) milk – free from growth hormones and antibiotics – produced from a certified herd of grass-fed Holstein (also known as Friesian) cows from the Stellenbosch area.
“It was a typical cheese produced on a specific day,” says Healey’s General Manager Jannik Le Roux. “We do not produce special cheese for competitions anymore as we want to test ourselves against the best in the business with the cheese that we make on a daily basis. Our clients can thus be assured of a competition-quality cheese on an everyday basis.”
The SA Champion title follows the recent opening of the new Healey’s Cheesery & Deli at Waterkloof, where an untamed, natural approach to winemaking reigns supreme.
Waterkloof’s biodynamic farming philosophy sits perfectly beside Healey’s approach to natural, real cheese that is free of all preservatives, artificial colourants, flavour enhancers and anti-moulds.
Healey’s joined the Waterkloof family in 2012 as a natural extension of a brand that unlocks nature’s true potential in the most natural way, but continued production at its
small cheesery at Lourensford Estate where it was originally started.
Over the years, Healey’s improved its equipment and more recently, its facility too. At the end of last year, it was time for Healey’s to move on to greener pastures. The opportunity with Waterkloof and its ethos made the estate the perfect choice and it opened its new ‘home’ right at the foot of the famous winery. It is here the entire process of making slow matured cheddar takes place in a custom-designed facility.
Naturally, the team was elated about the achievement at the SA Dairy Championships: “Our team managed to produce this winning SA Champion cheese in a new facility we’d occupied for less than a year, and using unfamiliar equipment,” says cheesemaker extraordinaire Desiree Stuart who oversees the small, close-knit Healey’s team.
The deli where the winning cheese and others are available was designed with a specific vision in mind: the creation of a natural and flowing space for aficionados to taste the finest slow-matured cheddars whilst getting a first-hand glimpse of the intricate process involved in making these award-winning wheels of deliciousness.
It has an inviting wooden deck with unobstructed views of the mountain-and-sea landscape that calls for laid-back cheese sampling along with Waterkloof wine sipping with friends and family.
Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar is incredibly versatile and can easily be enjoyed with sweet or savoury accompaniment. The one-stop cheese-shop therefore also features other scrumptious bites and artisanal products by some of their favourite local producers. This includes some of the best roasted coffee, olives, cured meats, fresh breads and delicious jams and preserves.
Everything that visitors enjoy in the shop, whether on a platter, in a glass or a cup, is also available for purchase to be enjoyed at home.
Since humble beginnings, Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar has garnered numerous international accolades for its commitment to quality excellence, driven by empowerment and unbridled passion.
In 2006 Healey’s excelled at the coveted World Cheese Awards in London, bringing home Gold as well as Silver, and in 2009 it claimed Gold status at the World Cheese Canary Island Awards. It was also awarded a Bronze medal at the 2011 World Cheese Awards. Another massive achievement was second place at the World Championships in Wisconsin, the US’s most famous cheese state, in 2014, and in 2015 it was crowned SA Champion in the 10-18 months Round Cheddar Category at the South African Dairy Championships.
The new Healey’s Cheesery & Deli is situated on the Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West and is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm (except on Sundays when it closes at 2pm). The cheese-making viewing is on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
For more information contact Healey’s at tel: 021 200 2661; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.healeys.co.za.