Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar was awared champion status at this year’s South African Dairy Championships recently.
The seven-month matured cheese is made by hand in limited quantities at Waterkloof Estate on the outskirts of Somerset West.
It is made with unpasteurised – raw – milk, free from growth hormones and antibiotics, produced from a certified herd of grass-fed Holstein 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 always be assured of a competition-quality cheese.”
The SA Champion title follows the recent opening of the new Healey’s Cheesery and Deli at Waterkloof Wine Estate.
Waterkloof’s biodynamic farming philosophy is in accord with Healey’s approach to natural cheese that is free of all preservatives, artificial colourants, flavour enhancers and anti-moulds.
Healey’s joined the Waterkloof family in 2012, but continued production at its cheesery on Lourensford Estate.
Over the years, Healey’s improved its equipment and more recently, its facility too. At the end of 2016, 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 moved to its new home below the winery.
“Our team managed to produce this winning South African champion cheese in a new facility we’d occupied for less than a year, and using unfamiliar equipment,” says cheesemaker Desiree Stuart who oversees the Healey’s team.