1. Holy Goat Organic La Luna, Sutton Grange, VIC
The holy grail of Australian goat cheese is Holy Goat. Carla Meurs and Anne-Marie Monda make Australia’s best organic goat milk cheeses in Sutton Grange, Central Victoria. The single herd of well-pampered and individually named goats happily nibble on native and perennial grasses, herbs, flowers and shrubs. Our favourite is the 1.4kg La Luna Ring, with a hole through the middle; it looks like a giant white Life Saver candy made of cheese. This cheese is particularly special as it boasts a hard-to-grow mould called ‘Geotrichum’. This mould can be identified by a brainy, wiggly pattern on the surface, which gives the cheese a concentrated, velvety texture and icing bite finish. La Luna is everything you want in a block of goat cheese: bright and tangy with delicate herbaceous notes bursting through. Enjoy it on the patio in the fading afternoon sun with a glass of crisp white wine.
2. Berry’s Creek’ Riverine Blue’, South Gippsland VIC
Barry Charlton from Berry’s Creek Gourmet Cheese has been in the industry for 44 years and makes Australia’s only buffalo blue cheese from the milk of 41 water buffalo. Riverine Blue is a multi-award-winning cheese—and for a good reason! You have sweet, bright and creamy flavours dancing on your palate and a lingering mineral savouriness that will immediately make you want more. It is a visually striking cheese for your cheeseboard, and its white interior is streaked with the most fabulous and piercing blue and green moulds. Enjoy it young and serve with a bottle of white wine, preferably on a leisurely Sunday. Our other favourite Berry’s Creek offering is their cow’s milk Mossvale Blue.
3. Summerland Camels Marinated Feta, South East QLD
This cheese is worth mentioning for its sheer novelty value or if you’re living by a ‘try everything once’ motto: it is made with camel milk! This feta is made in South East Queensland from the milk of 550 rescued camels, which graze on fertile volcanic soil and natural springs. Visually, this cheese is snow white with a clean and creamy flavour. Summerland marinates it in thyme and garlic, making it perfect for salads, omelette, tarts and antipasto spreads. While you have your guests’ attention, you can casually mention the health benefits of camel milk—it’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting immunoglobulin.
4. Pecora Dairy’s Bloomy sheep cheese, Roberston, NSW
Michael and Cressida Cains 2011 founded Pecora Dairy, and it produces some of Australia’s best sheep milk cheese. Picture 200 acres of lush, regenerative pastoral land tucked away in the heart of NSW’s Southern Highlands. A single herd of happy East Friesian sheep freely roam, drinking from crystal clear springs and running creeks at the edge of the Kangaroo Valley. This farm embraces biodiversity, reserving native ecosystems while taking a gentle approach to the animals, milking and cheesemaking. Michael and Cressida are also helping revolutionise the industry by creating Australia’s first non-cooked raw milk cheese. Our favourite Pecora Dairy cheese is called ‘Bloomy’. It’s made from new season sheep’s milk, a long lactic set with a pillowy texture. Another handsome looking addition to your cheese plate, it has a small disk shape and has been lightly dusted with vegetable ash. When young, it’s chalky with a gentle lemon butter tang. As it develops, expect a gooey and earthier rendition. Nosh on this while you catch up with your best friend, with some slices of apple and pear on the side and some whiskey matured in a sherry cask.
5. Bruny Island Cheese Co.’ C2’, Tasmania
Bruny Island Cheese Co. was Founded by Nick Haddow in 2003, after a lifelong love affair with making and working with specialist cheese worldwide. Tucked away in the fertile crescent of the Huon Valley, Nick and his team are dedicated to sustainable farming, animal welfare, rare old-world breeds, and making cheese that has a ‘distinctly Tasmanian character. Our pick is the iconic Alpine-style cheese called C2. As with all cooked curd cheeses, the slow cooking time allows additional complexity and deep caramelisation flavours to be expressed. C2 is both sweet and savoury with lingering toasted and brothy notes. Traditional wooden hoops (moulds) are used, and the rind is wiped down weekly to consolidate the good surface bacteria that lives on the cheese. Another good melter, this cheese will elevate your toastie game to incredible heights. Sammy insists on pairing this one with a farmhouse stout.