Alexandrina Cheese Company. Handmade cheeses from our farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.
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Alexandrina Cheese Company. Handmade cheeses from our farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.
     

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Story Since 1973

Alexandrina Cheese Company is owned by The McCaul Family, operated by Dan and Krystyna McCaul.

Alexandrina Cheese Company: Mt Jagged, south of Mt Compass on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.

For a certain herd of well fed Jersey cows, life in the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula is not too bad. They are the culmination of a dream for one family whose members have come from various parts of the globe to establish a dairy with a difference. When you enter the Alexandrina Cheese Company between Mount Compass and Victor Harbor (8km south of Mt Compass) there's a fair chance some of the family will be on hand to help with a tutoured tasting. Alexandrina Cheeses produce farmhouse style, handmade cheeses from their individually named herd of healthy, grass fed cows.

“Fresh Cheddar Curd - quite salty really isn't it? It's a new product which is not really available anywhere else in South Australia... So we're very lucky.”

Rebekah McCaul is the Marketing department with her mother, Krystyna. While Krystyna's parents, George and Cathe Manowski are what could be called the founding venture capitalists. After all, it was George who took over the Dairy property when he came to Australia as a displaced person from war-torn Poland.

Now it's grown from dairy farm to a cheese factory where Krystyna's husband Dan McCaul, now Chief cheesemaker begins the morning ritual of unloading a thousand litres of Jersey milk into stainless steel vats - under the watchful eye of his dad Kevin, the Master cheesemaker.

The McCauls have been making cheese for generations, both here in Australia and back in Ireland before Kevin's father emigrated from County Cork more than a century ago.

“We actually turn the cheddar in an open vat. We've gone back sixty years in time - the way Dad did when he was a lad. Dad started working in a cheese factory when he left school at the age of fifteen. His father started when he left school in 1902.”

After, the Pure Jersey Cream has been separated, in goes the starter culture and eventually the rennet. It’s then up to the stirring blades and nature to work their magic

After half an hour or so the mixture separates into curds and whey and Kevin gives the all clear to begin cutting what will become another batch of English style cheddar. The curds, which are the thicker pieces, are later separated and milled or compacted into cloth lined cheddar containers.

While that process continues yesterday's batch of Dutch Edam and Gouda cheeses are being unloaded. Each is salted and dipped in brine before being stored so they can mature for up to six weeks. An English Cheddar, on the other hand, can take many months to mature.

And to think all of this started with some rennet and a dash of culture - some Irish and some Polish.

“Yes - we're making an English Cheddar and a traditional Dutch Edam and Gouda. We're proudly one of the only Australian producers making these types of cheese.”

Now, the dairy farm continues with the next generation, and each year another anniversary is celebrated by cutting open a very large wheel of Cheddar - to celebrate.

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Open Weekdays 12-5pm, Weekends 10-4.30pmsp© 2007 Alexandrina Cheese CospSneyd Road, Mt Jagged SAspPhone (08) 8554 9666
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