My Itinerary:

CHEESE: SOFT CHEESES

 

Soft Cheeses

Cheese overview and Paso Robles wine pairing recommendations courtesy of Zina Miakinkova-Engel of Le Vigne Winery.

Goat  

                                                     

Templeton Gap   United States  California
Templeton Gap - This fabulous local goat’s milk cheese, as the name indicates, hails from Alcea Rosea Farms in Templeton, CA. It is soft-ripened and allowed to age from three to six weeks. As with all cheeses, the flavors become more pungent as the cheese ages. When young, the rind is billowy and supple. Once the cheese is cut, it slowly oozes from the rind. The texture varies from a velvety creaminess to a nougat spread-ability and the pate is rich and buttery.

Wine Pairings: The creamy yet pungent flavor is a perfect match for Pinot Noirs from the neighboring Templeton Gap vineyards of Paso Robles.

Water Buffalo
 

 

Casatica di Bufala  Italy   Bergamo
Casatica di Bufala - This fabulous cheese is a rarity in the world. It comes from Bergamo, Italy where the Gritti family has been making cheese for over forty years. One of the things that makes this cheese so unique is the fact that the Gritti family only uses the milk of water buffalo. Though the thought of water buffalo might be a little intimidating to some, the flavor is actually quite mild.

Wine Pairings: Scattered throughout both east and westside vineyards in Paso Robles, you will find small plantings of Italian varietals, such as Barbera and Sangiovese, which are a perfect match for this unique cheese.

 

Sheep  

                                                     

Caña de Oveja   Spain   Murcia
Caña de Oveja - This amazing soft-ripened sheep’s milk log from Murcia, Spain is similar French Bucheron, Caña de Oveja is an original by Lorenzo Abellan. This is the first soft-ripened sheep log in Spain, perhaps the world. The cheese is aged 21 days and is buttery and delicious. As it ages, the flavor intensifies.

Wine Pairings: It is a great match for some of the Spanish white varietals from Paso Robles, such Albarino or Verdelho.

Cow
 

 

Fromagger d’Affinois  France   Rhone
Fromagger d’Affinois - This luscious, Brie-like cheese comes from the Pilat Regional Park in France's Rhone-Alpes. Created by Fromagerie Guilloteau, Fromager d'Affinois is unique in the world of double creams in that even as it progresses in age it still maintains a firm paste in the center. Beneath the light, fuzzy rind is a gooey ring that becomes almost liquid at room temperature. Progressing further into the cheese, you find a smooth, rich cheese with the lovely taste of fresh butter and earthy mushrooms. Fromager d'Affinois is a must-try for fans of Saint Andre, Boursaut, or Brie de Meaux.

Wine Pairings: Enjoy this cheese with some of Paso Robles’ premier Rhone white varietals, such as Roussanne, Marsanne or Viognier or blends thereof.