Our Cheese Story
We make our cheese in an open-vat and adhere to age old handmade methods, passed from first generation cheesemaker Jerry McCaul, to Kevin McCaul.
Second generation Kevin McCaul started his cheese making career in Ramsay Dairy Company near Toowomba in Queensland, working alongside his father. In 1963, Kevin was head hunted by Southern Farmers Cooperative to join the team in South Australia, and was appointed as the Chief Super Intendent of Cheese Factories. He made an impact in the management and delivery of quality dairy products over a dozen factories throughout the state. Kevin’s career is detailed in ‘People, Places & Cheese in South Australia’ written by Gordan. S. Pickhaver.
On the development and commissioning of the Mount Jagged factory Kevin’s son third generation Dan McCaul, was able to take on the next phase of the McCaul Family tradition, stamping the Alexandrina brand onto cheese made with Jersey Milk.
Dan and his wife Krystyna established Alexandrina Cheese in 2001, ensuring their dairy farm had an ongoing future, post a crucial deregulation of the dairy industry in 2000. Dan and Krystyna now manage a vertically integrated dairy farm and food manufacturing business, and market their products to local and interstate customers. Dan and Krystyna’s children all have some involvement in the business, and their grandchildren are also learning to put their boots on, and they encourage their involvement.
Krystyna and Dan McCaul spent over a decade researching the dairy food manufacturing business, and visited Queensland to participate in a cheese making course with the Department of Primary Industries in 1999.
Further to that, the technical assistance from Kevin McCaul was undoubtedly how the range was created, including the fancy cheeses he specialised in during his career including Edam, Gouda, Cheddar, Romano and Pepato. Kevin’s confidence in the cheese making methods gave Dan the opportunity to begin making cheese on April 10, 2001.
For the next five years, Dan and Krystyna continued to supply National Foods with milk for a consistent income, while the brand was being established. During this time refinements were made to the methods involved to make the semi hard and hard style Jersey cheese, including Feta and Gourmet Shred. From the outset there was a plan to make and market luxury Jersey dairy products, including Pure Jersey Cream, Crème Fraiche, Fresh Jersey Ricotta, pot set Yoghurt and bottled Full Cream Pure Jersey Milk which were later added to the range.
We continue to use exclusive starter cultures and rennet, the manufacturing process has gone back in time over a hundred years, returning to the traditional methods of cheese making. Our boutique cheeses possess subtle variation in flavour – it is to be enjoyed knowing the seasonal variation of the Jersey cows’ milk, and the weekly turn of the cheesemakers’ hands.
Alexandrina Cheddar has been awarded with an Australian Grand Dairy Award in 2015, it is distinctive, because our Cheddar is completely handmade, properly cheddared, moulded in bespoke Cheddar hoops, cloth-wrapped and matured for at least 12 months on wooden shelves.
Alexandrina Edam is unique to us, only manufacturer in the mainland of Australia making a traditional round Edam cheese. It is distinctive because our Edam is completely handcrafted, pressed under a heavy metal sheet, moulded in bespoke Edam hoops, brine salted, prepared for maturation in traditional red wax and matured for at least 6 months on wooden shelves.