Archive for August 22nd, 2006

Monteillet Fromagerie

Joan tastingName: Monteillet Fromagerie
Owners: Joan and Pierre-Louis Monteillet
Location: Dayton, WA
Animals: 30 milking Lacone/East Freisan sheep, 35 milking Alpine goats (this means they have about 2-2.5x that amount total on the farm- because they are raising replacements and finding outlets for the young males)
Cheeses/Products: Larzac, Mejean, Cardabelle, Fresh Chevre, Fresh Herbed Chevre, Fresh Sheep Cheese, Causse Noir
More info: www.monteilletcheese.com/

Joan Monteillet warned me multiple times that I would not want to leave Walla Walla once I had witnessed firsthand all of the amazing things happening there. She was right in all ways except one, it was largely what was going on right at Monteillet Fromagerie that make me want to stay. When we arrived Joan and Pierre-Louis were just finishing up a late lunch (4pm) with some friends who had stopped by for an impromptu visit. Pierre-Louis had just returned from the weekly trip to Portland and Seattle to drop cheese and restaurants and, most importantly, sell their cheeses at the farmers’ markets. So we settled in at the table, brought in a bottle of California Pinot Noir (Papapietro Perry) and sampled some of their delectable cheeses. The Monteillets’ close friends Clare and Jim told us about their recent purchase of two older buildings in the neighboring town of Waitsburg where they will open a small gallery and tapas bar and still have enough room left over for a studio (they are both artists) and living space. This is the kind of thing Joan meant when she talked about the buzz in the Walla Walla Valley.

Before becoming dairy farmers the Monteillets were conventional wheat farmers, the two of them worked 2,000 acres for over a decade. They have definitely taken a sharp turn away from monoculture even though they both admit that their former way of live was indeed more profitable than the operation they have today. I find it almost hard to imagine them doing anything other than what they are doing today because they are so passionate about their craftsmanship and their facility and land illustrate their attention to detail. They saw a wonderful opening to create cheeses to accompany the bevy of wine being produced locally and also to begin to preserve some of the rich agricultural land in the valley of the Touchet River.

the ark

Joan and Pierre-Louis have not only crafted a number of beautiful cheeses that can stand alone or accompany local wines, but they are quietly transforming their little pocket of the Touchet River valley into a sustainable farming oasis. When we finished lunch they walked us out through the myriad of non-milkers, kept close by the house along with chickens and ducks, to the sauna they built themselves on a gentle bend in the river. These two started out with just 3.85 acres and have expanded to 31.5 contiguous acres by creatively financing the purchases of land that has gone up for sale around them through the years. Talk to them for a few minutes about their farm and you will understand their level of commitment to diversity in agriculture and the preservation of old buildings and barns that are often left to fall to disrepair.

We walk up the road a bit with Pierre-Louis to see the house where we’ll be staying- yes, an entire house. The home was on one of the pieces of adjoining land they purchased and it took years for them to slowly bring it back up to a livable space. Joan has her glass studio in the room off the kitchen and there are gorgeous glass pieces throughout the house. This home now serves as a place for guests to stay but also as a rental for people interested in having a farming experience. The Monteillets understand that every additional income stream is useful to them- as with agriculture, even financial diversity is beneficial.

The next morning we walked a bit further up the road to the cheesemaking facility. When you walk in there is a small, beautiful counter for cheese and wine tasting and doors that go off in many different directions. The Monteillets are forward thinking and Joan has obtained a license for them as a specialty wine tasting room which allows them to legally do events with local winemakers right in their facility. This supports the Monteillets’ belief that if people see all the aspects involved in producing their cheese while tasting their products it has a bigger impact.

We suited up in our cheese room boots and head coverings and hovered around Pierre-Louis as he pasteurized first the in the make roomgoat and then the sheep milk (read: time consuming). I stepped into the cheese room to assist Joan by flipping some cheeses and then was allowed to help her ash and finish off molding the Larzac. The Monteillets are making cheese twice each week and yet each day there is work to be done on previous batches like flipping, salting, and packaging. By the time we thought about lunch we were too hungry to walk past the cheeses in the tasting room without sampling and Joan upped the ante by opening a couple bottles of local wines for us to taste- Bergevin Lane Viognier and Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon. Both were smashing with the cheeses. We enjoyed the sampling so much that we bagged the idea of lunch and planned for an early dinner at the Whoopemup Hollow Cafe in Waitsburg which is run by two friends of Joan and Pierre-Louis. If you ever find yourself in the Walla Walla neck of the woods I would highly recommend this spot for some bangin’ Southern/Cajun food.

The following morning I trekked up to the cheese plant and met Mave, the daughter of a local winemaker and part-time worker for the Monteillets. I worked with her on packing up Larzacs and Cardabelles for the upcoming weekend markets. While we did this Michael and Joan began ladling the curds which had been set by Pierre-Louis the previous day (remember all that pasteurizing?). I realize that this sounds like quite a charmed life the Monteillets lead however it is not without considerable sacrifice on their part. In addition to impromptu meals with friends, great wine, saunas and acreage along the Touchet River are the 20 hour days spent tending to milkers and replacements, pasture, cheesemaking, cleaning, packaging, and farmers’ markets that are 250+ miles away. Spending time with the Monteillets was a reminder for us that many of the farms we have visited over the last few months are at the tipping point; they have borrowed more than ever before in their lives to create the infrastructure of a dairy farm and a few years in they are nearing make-or-break points in their businesses. I’m not pleading for sympathy votes on their behalf, just reminding you that there is a tremendous amount that goes into these products because these smaller farmers are creating their industry as they go and that requires effort and money.

I encourage you, not only in principle, but in the spirit of gustatory pleasure to partake in what the Monteillets are doing. Although they sell a tremendous amount of cheese in Portland and Seattle markets there is cheese available for the rest of you too- just give them a buzz and place your order. Cheese by mail is a modern miracle.

Joan & Pierre-Louis

Add comment August 22nd, 2006


Calendar

August 2006
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category


  • a.r. rahman nana download
  • beatport download top 100 december 2012
  • applicazioni windows phone 7 download
  • canon mf3200 driver download for vista
  • canon powershot zoombrowser download
  • afscheid 2 2012 download
  • aristotle sentence correction grail download free
  • can u download outlook express
  • c download web image
  • battleon points generator v1 download
  • canon mg5150 drucker treiber download
  • apostila cefet 2011 download
  • captura de movimento download
  • chodA? pogadamy bas tajpan download
  • chicken invader 5 download free
  • budzik do telefonu download
  • can download google play
  • asus k8v mx sata driver download
  • armin van buuren shivers download mp3
  • automatic la riots remix download
  • assumption song download mp3
  • buses to download festival 2012
  • chica bomb dan balan download girlshare
  • avaiana de pano download 3gp
  • caan hold us down download
  • casal selvagem download dublado
  • cd love letter r. kelly download
  • betrayed at 17 download free
  • bishnu majhi songs download
  • battlefield 3 beta download exe
  • barao vermelho um indio download
  • banco de dados download
  • apprentice los angeles download
  • asus p5gl mx audio driver download
  • cd chico buarque 2011 download
  • brave little toaster download movie
  • avtech video server s download
  • andra something new download hotfiles
  • best of bukas palad download
  • bully scholarship edition v1 download
  • 4shared download here without you
  • ateina metas vytautas siskauskas download
  • carl orff album download
  • 325 usb pc camera download
  • b2st rainy days download
  • am pm yoga for beginners download
  • ad management plus download
  • angliA?tina na poA?A?vanie mp3 download
  • canopus procoder 2 free download rar
  • anya fool me download zippy
  • c# web services download file
  • bicicleta gta san andreas download
  • appalaraju songs free download in south mp3
  • battleship 2012 download brrip
  • asereje song mp3 free download
  • bleach movie jigokuhen download
  • bird song family guy download
  • anthrax the collection download
  • c# web services download file
  • adobe pravachol reader exe download
  • centuriA?o download avi dublado
  • audio boost download for psp
  • cara mempercepat koneksi download modem smartfren
  • amor perfeito nechivile download
  • a4tech model pk 7mar free download
  • adobe reader 9.rar free download
  • armin van buuren drawing download
  • castle ville crown hack 1.3 download
  • city boy r kelly download
  • arsenal vs fulham 2 1 highlights download
  • amra halebic devet dana download
  • bounce tails game download
  • cd os monarcas 2011 download
  • club hits 2012 download
  • 2001 dodge stratus manual download
  • boiler room movie download
  • ar rahman new album download
  • cd carla bruni download gratis
  • ar rahman suprabhatam remix download
  • clannad download english patch
  • call of juarez 1 download free
  • britannica online encyclopedia download
  • break even long drive home download
  • cannabis eclipse techno 2011 download
  • anh o day mp3 free download
  • autoroute 2010 deutsch download
  • augustin jeba kumar songs download
  • bruce almighty download subtitle indonesia
  • cidade negra girassol download gratis
  • asus wl 167g utilities download
  • black teman pengganti free download mp3
  • catalina.bat startup script download for tomcat 6
  • canon mp500 download mac
  • black ops rezurrection download size
  • cardminder for mac download
  • black dead music born download
  • cam hack 1.2 download msn
  • bishi bashi download psx
  • camila abrazame download girlshare
  • canon mf3010 driver download 64 bit
  • bree regular font download
  • a doll's house interdisciplinary download
  • anno domini 1404 download
  • apostila tcu 2011 download gratis
  • cartella download internet explorer 8
  • cemo porque cemo download mp3
  • cartA?o de visita download free
  • asus p5gc mx drivers download motherboard
  • cinderella man mp3 download free
  • bridget jones ebook download
  • amiga klassiker download gratis
  • b2k girlfriend download mp3
  • asus a7n8x x lan treiber download
  • a rosie christmas download free
  • backpack justin bieber download mp3
  • beyblade vforce super tournament download
  • blackberry storm 9520 software download
  • applicazioni lg ks360 download
  • ant smasher download pc
  • carcel de dolor aventura download
  • cluedo download kostenlos deutsch
  • a natale puoi mp3 download gratis
  • business card composer download
  • all bhajan mp3 download
  • cd porca veia 2011 download
  • call of juarez download za free
  • baixedetudo net download digimon world
  • chor bazari download songs pk
  • blackberry 9100 os download
  • call of juarez download peb
  • cidadA?o kane download legendado avi
  • bunbury licenciado cantinas download free
  • 3ball mty cd download
  • city hunter ost part.1 love download
  • as apimentadas download rmvb dublado
  • canon mg3100 setup download
  • adobe flash player 11.4 download kostenlos
  • choir of hard knocks download
  • castleville cheat engine download
  • a perfect sonnet mp3 download
  • ashwini ye na songs download free
  • chams para cs 1.6 download
  • cliff richard devil woman download free
  • bauch beine po dvd download kostenlos
  • billie jean house remix download
  • bons sites para download filmes
  • chateau rob dougan mp3 download
  • bugs bunny movie download
  • cd grupo nuwance 2011 download
  • 32x32 minecraft texture pack download
  • activision games demo download
  • any video convertor download com
  • 6.69b lod v 12 english download
  • charles da rocinha cd download
  • alberto o gordo filme download legendado
  • 1und1 outlook connector download
  • 100 ?????? N??NNS?? ??N????? download
  • anggun mon meilleur amour download
  • augustine fong wing chun download
  • chrome radio player download
  • cabal update.exe failed to download
  • civil service reviewer download creit
  • a r rahman satyameva jayate download
  • canon mp830 scanner download
  • behka main behka remix download
  • car wash free download mp3
  • aadha ishq video song download
  • advice christina grimmie download mp3
  • bhai harjinder singh download mp3
  • cabana do pai tomas download
  • burlesque download legendado grA?tis
  • bus driver download scs software
  • airplay download for win
  • 1209 pm file download
  • arash broken angel free download
  • asus wl 167g vista driver download
  • abre los ojos download pl
  • a gifted man download 1x12
  • azis sen trope download mp3
  • biogasanlage fA?r ls 2011 download
  • amhi thakar song download
  • adaptive server enterprise 12.5.3 download
  • brother mfl pro suite mfc 250c download
  • can i download opengl
  • caspa marmite doctor p download
  • bauhaus md bt download free
  • cinema paradiso download with subtitles
  • a lesson in romantics download mp3
  • break k baad songs download songs.pk
  • a r rahman songs album download
  • brand x music captivate download
  • cd robson monteiro 2011 download
  • aplicatii nokia c5 03 download free
  • alain de botton epub download
  • canon lide download mac