Posts filed under 'Bleu Mont Dairy'

Bleu Mont Dairy

Willi LehnerName: Bleu Mont Dairy
Owner: Willi Lehner and Quitas McKnight
Location: Blue Mounds, WI
Animals: Bleu Mont purchases cow milk from local, certified organic dairies practicing rotational grazing.
Cheeses/Products: Bandaged-wrapped cheddar, various styles of washed rind cheeses. Some are aged just 60 days and others are aged out over a couple years.
More info: Bleu Mont Dairy

We first met Willi at the Madison farmers’ market which is the largest market of its kind in the U.S. (it has the largest number of producers). There are many cheesemakers at the Madison market and Willi has a prime piece of real estate there. It is a priority for him as he only sells his cheese at the market- to both retail and restaurant customers alike. He is a natural salesman- at least in the cheese world- because he understand that the fastest way onto someone’s cheese plate is via their taste buds… he samples his cheese to you immediately when you approach the stand. I first heard about Bleu Mont Dairy from Mike Gingrich. Mike suggested that we visit Willi on our tour of Wisconsin because he is doing things differently than anyone else on our Cheese by Hand roster.

How is Bleu Mont different? Well, there are no animals at the dairy- not so unusual- and there is no cheesemaking room. There is a curing room (Willi’s term for a cave or maturing room) that he swears is the smallest one in the state of Wisconsin. There is also a skeletal structure in place for a curing room that is soon to become a reality and the envy of many cheesemakers around the country for sure. So how and why does he do it this way? Let me take a step back and tell you a little bit about Willi’s entire cheese career.

New Curing Room Structure

Willi’s mother and father are both first generation Swiss immigrants and his father is also a cheesemaker. His father made cheese in Wisconsin for decades, largely in his own facility, and Willi worked with him on and off for years. Armed with a Swiss passport Willi set out to travel in his early 20’s and managed to last for approximately ten years alternating between exploring and working. One of the things he mentioned doing that peaked my interest was the summer he spent with his brother making cheese in the alps. The two of them took a herd of dairy cows up into the mountains to graze on open pastures and turn their milk into cheese each day. This is a traditional practice in the valleys in and around the Alps. There is not enough pasture in the valleys for farmers to graze their animals year round and put up enough feed to take them through the winter months. Often a number of dairymen will pool their milkers together and send on or two delegates up the mountains for the summer months to make cheese. The beautiful word that encapsulates this entire concept is called transhumance. Regardless of how romantic and pastoral it sounds it amounts to a summer of awesome views and incredibly hard work.

I get the feeling that for Willi it makes sense to have each person to focus on what they do best- the farmer produces the milk and the cheesemaker selects the best milk and produces cheese from that milk. Although he had years of experience making cheese with his father and also with his brother in Switzerland, it wasn’t until 1988 that he made his first batch of cheese under his own name. Fortunately, because of his background in the Wisconsin cheese industry with his father, Willi found people who were willing to allow him to use their facilities to bring in milk and produce his own cheeses. He has done this in a number of cheesemaking facilities in the area near his home, most recently he used the facility at Uplands Cheese to experiment with different recipes using the Pleasant Ridge Reserve shaped forms for the resulting wheels.

Quitas on the cheese tour

In 2002 Willi and Quitas secured a grant from the Wisconsin Dairy Business Innovation Center to visit cheesemakers in the UK and learn the art of aging or maturing cheeses, specifically clothbound cheddar. Armed with this additional knowledge they installed a small cave on their property in 2003. Walking through his in-ground greenhouse and cheese cave is fascinating because in addition to getting information about his aging techniques you get to learn about Willi’s use of and commitment to alternative energy. He uses a great amount of solar energy for his home and his greenhouse and aging facilities and more recently he installed a wind generator that is currently the main source of energy on his property.

Current Curing Room

As amazing as this first facility is, it is kind of put to shame by the new curing room that is currently under construction. In all fairness, the existing curing room functions beautifully it is just space-challenged. We walked down a short dirt road over to the edge of the construction site. When you stand up at the edge of the rubble you are looking down onto the oblong web-like structure that will soon be covered with concrete and a layer of earth to help regulate temperature and even humidity. It is cool to look at and walk around in but even cooler to think about what it will allow Bleu Mont to do in terms of increasing their cheese production.

Cheddar & Lake Louie brewskieAfter hanging out with Willi and Quitas for the afternoon it makes sense that Bleu Mont Dairy is like no other- and it is clear that this is not done for the purpose of distinguishing themselves in the market as unique it is just the way of living and producing artisan cheese that makes sense to them. We ended our visit with the interview which was conducted over a pint of local Lake Louie beer and tastes of their curing room ripened cheeses- quite a way to spend an afternoon in the rolling hills of Blue Mounds Wisconsin.

3 comments September 18th, 2006


Calendar

July 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category


  • difference between and
  • abuse weight loss
  • mesren v
  • free sample 24hr
  • memory issues
  • ibs dose
  • oftalmik damla
  • children dosage
  • tablets rxlist
  • when will be available over the counter
  • product monograph canada
  • chibro libido
  • during breastfeeding
  • can treat boils
  • causing itching
  • xr side effects
  • hydrocodone
  • para que se usa el medicamento
  • cause irritability
  • can you take sudafed and d
  • during 1st trimester
  • recall 2009
  • stomach acid
  • is a beta lactam
  • para que sirve la yahoo respuestas
  • can you just stop taking
  • cardioselective
  • antidepressant discontinuation syndrome
  • aurochem
  • d'8
  • pseudomonas sensitive
  • tmj pain
  • sr skutki uboczne
  • can you take together
  • and interaction
  • anxiety elderly
  • wart medication
  • do lower blood pressure
  • e minoxidil
  • efectos secundarios 75 mg
  • na alergie
  • border hours
  • lawsuits florida
  • a kwas foliowy
  • side effects in men
  • muscle aches withdrawal
  • otc drug
  • quick does work
  • buy generic online
  • e gestaAžA?o
  • rate credit on bge bill
  • can you take benadryl
  • lek
  • rite aid pharmacy
  • withdrawal symptoms insomnia
  • kidney pain
  • para que es el
  • spotting
  • poco sangrado despues de
  • sirop posologie
  • panadol
  • buy in us
  • can take tylenol pm
  • dean k
  • has my stopped working
  • and leg pain
  • can i take when i am pregnant
  • oral uses
  • food allergy
  • e mestruazioni
  • time to start working
  • oily discharge
  • buy online
  • liquid dosage
  • time to take effect
  • maximum dosage of daily
  • trop de
  • otc safe long term use
  • cream overdose
  • dosage instructions
  • causing depression
  • starting after a miscarriage
  • vs
  • injection
  • benadryl interactions
  • antabus interactions
  • odpowiedniki
  • renal failure
  • taking
  • happens if stop taking my
  • pregnancy side effects
  • is used to treat acne
  • kart
  • can i take while pregnant
  • 500 mg 50 tb
  • s\/a corretora de cA?mbio
  • rezeptfrei in deutschland
  • zoloft switch
  • can cause loss of appetite
  • lc service &
  • chest pain side effects
  • 800 mg
  • applying cream
  • can take while nursing
  • fever
  • safe for infants
  • 5395975069
  • does make yeast infection worse
  • can i take cold medicine while on
  • eating disorder
  • jak brac po mecie
  • high blood pressure side effects
  • vs
  • therapeutic action
  • need help paying
  • how long after taking are you contagious
  • antidepressant side effects
  • can my child take and together
  • dianabol
  • losing potency
  • ndc
  • novartis patient assistance program
  • will test positive for methamphetamine
  • sirve para bajar de peso
  • can you stop
  • 40 mg
  • preAžo do remedio 5mg
  • dosage chemotherapy
  • interaction
  • can take kidney infection
  • and liver enzymes
  • treat staph
  • provigil wellbutrin
  • side effects skin
  • should you take with food
  • chart
  • interaction between
  • compare tinactin
  • feet swelling
  • cures candida
  • in the news
  • treatment pid
  • and
  • missed dose
  • other uses
  • normal dosage uti
  • is safe for pregnancy
  • mg dosage
  • que es el
  • voucher
  • blood monitoring
  • hct recall
  • before urine test
  • using acne
  • eljo
  • mast
  • free trial
  • blood thinner
  • buy d uk
  • reactions
  • safe dose range
  • muscle pain
  • what does it look like
  • effects kidney function
  • 30 mg dosage
  • or
  • side effects nightmares
  • milligrams does come
  • used eating disorders
  • can you take together
  • do you need prescription uk
  • when was relief launched
  • 80 mg
  • iv compatibility
  • taper off
  • can mixed solution
  • 150 mg side effects
  • 5 mg lilly fta 28 st
  • what are the side effects of going off
  • annual sales
  • prescription only
  • average dose
  • type b flu
  • can kids take and together
  • why give at bedtime
  • 20 mg used for
  • cream recall
  • kadA▒nlar kulA?bA?
  • mega red krill oil
  • can u take advil
  • is gluten free
  • gastrin
  • healthy baby
  • vs
  • crema v para sirve
  • sepeda motor
  • late ovulation on bfp
  • can you crush cr
  • enablex
  • best skin care while on
  • follicles on day 12
  • yeast infection
  • expired pregnancy
  • ointment
  • if stops working
  • usage
  • 8 mg kaufen
  • hct missed dose
  • online
  • ingredients
  • edad se tomar
  • 8267343161
  • can you take with hct
  • can take advil together
  • guaifenesin d
  • allergy medication
  • pharmacological classification
  • for restless leg syndrome side effects
  • y maca
  • a spA?A?niony okres
  • alternatives
  • as a mood stabilizer
  • how long does it take for to work
  • tabletten wirkung
  • erectile dysfunction
  • used for anxiety
  • taking empty stomach
  • amazon
  • para verme
  • low progesterone while taking
  • reviews
  • for for cold sores
  • special offers
  • usage
  • 2224291683
  • xanax interactions
  • medication discounts
  • interactions drugs
  • 7323917684
  • i took 20mg of
  • side effects joints
  • 1 g iv
  • do you need prescription for in australia
  • 956230504
  • buy cheap uk
  • effects liver
  • pseudomonas resistance
  • unterschied
  • migraine treatment
  • generico farmacia italia
  • cost target
  • for men
  • age limit
  • invega conversion
  • eczema
  • cream while breastfeeding
  • e dimagrimento
  • is safe while breastfeeding
  • musicians
  • auckland
  • children's cvs
  • time to take effect
  • description
  • for a 12 year old
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome-treatment with
  • cheapest canada
  • class action lawsuit
  • 4 gel
  • oral contraceptives
  • c'est quoi le
  • 300 generic
  • low sperm count
  • and success stories
  • on drug testing
  • safer
  • for back pain
  • for osteopenia
  • safe during pregnancy
  • low dose weight loss
  • type drug
  • cr itching
  • user guide
  • for 2 yr old
  • does make you bigger than normal
  • and ritalin
  • l lysine
  • l-tryptophan und
  • flexeril vs
  • l effet secondaire
  • prostate drug
  • do you have to take daily
  • cream pregnancy
  • will reduce my milk supply
  • related sulfa drugs
  • valium
  • biglietti per italia a parma
  • sr bula
  • beaumont football club
  • side effects heart palpitations
  • natural supplement works like
  • can you take on an empty stomach
  • will help premature ejaculation
  • gynecomastia
  • drug class
  • with
  • alternative cvs
  • and peeling rash
  • banda
  • agitation anxiety
  • ambien drug interactions
  • y engordar
  • important safety information
  • can i get over the counter
  • high
  • coupon
  • zomig
  • a bangkok
  • sintomas despues aborto provocado
  • pictures of all pills
  • serotonin antagonist
  • same
  • get period after
  • prescription drug
  • a wymioty
  • n aerozol wziewny
  • vitamin d
  • health canada
  • cr 37.5mg
  • dresden il
  • r capsulas 300 mg
  • upper abdominal pain
  • can you take and benadryl together
  • used treat
  • anxiety
  • breastfeeding no period
  • xarope posologia
  • difference between levo sodium
  • tablets how to use
  • will interfere birth control
  • side effects blogs
  • price canada
  • famine maleate 50 mg
  • suspension
  • 24 hour
  • toxicity in children
  • que es la pastilla
  • for dilated cardiomyopathy
  • use
  • et cancer
  • ampolla embarazo
  • septic aerator
  • abuse potential
  • can a toddler take and tylenol together
  • indications
  • and together
  • hand tremors
  • 20 mg bula
  • can cause miscarriage
  • single dose gonorrhea
  • cheap 100mg
  • how much to cure chlamydia
  • purpose
  • y pastillas anticonceptivas
  • still available usa
  • xarope infarmed
  • taking and together
  • vs diamicron
  • i dojenje
  • dosage
  • can take z pack together
  • turisti x caso
  • is zoloft better than for anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • gives me gas
  • yeast infection one dose
  • canine colitis
  • or
  • for premature ejaculation
  • side effects hallucinations
  • free samples
  • acne
  • jarabe infantil
  • same time
  • allergic reaction side effects
  • used for depression
  • when will i ovulate taking days 5-9
  • plant locations
  • para que sirve
  • is out of date safe
  • does it get worse before it gets better
  • otc
  • will make you sleepy
  • pizzarium roma
  • 30 ct
  • dependent factors
  • what does it look like
  • is 150mg of a high dose
  • 2 stA?ck
  • buy overnight delivery
  • lose weight after