Joel Visits Pecora Dairy
Aria’s Executive Chef Joel Bickford recently visited Pecora Dairy in beautiful Robertson, the Green Heart of the Southern Highlands. Joel spent the day visiting the farm, meeting the animals and discussing all things process and produce with Cressida, who founded Pecora Dairy in 2011 with her husband Michael McNamara.
The ewes who reside at Pecora Dairy, graze the lush meadows and drink from the flowing creeks daily to assist producing their rich and creamy milk to be made into Pecora Dairy’s delicious seasonal ewes milk cheeses, with the cheeses used and loved by many at Aria.
Pecora Dairy’s philosophy is a gentleness on the land, towards their ewes and in the production of their cheese. This light-handed approach intertwines throughout all aspects of their farming and cheesemaking.
"We don’t use any motor bike or dogs, so the sheep are pretty calm”, says Cressida about her animals. “Do you remember Kevin, Joel? She’s our bottle raised lamb. She refused to go back to the flock…she used to sit on the back doormat, and if we left the door open, she’d come in and sit by the fire.”
The sheep all like to walk in one line, therefore no one is going to be rushed. Cressida explains, "their best milking years are between eighteen months and four years. They’re animals, not machines so the milk they produce is not always exactly the same. Sheep produce such a rich milk that really lends itself to cheese."
Joel enjoyed learning about the paddocks and the intention of planting certain grasses to achieve specific flavour profiles. "It was really interesting and something I didn’t realise that they planted out their paddock with different types of grasses to achieve specific flavour profiles in the milk. They are currently growing a field of oats, which will be used during lambing season."
To learn more, please watch the video below. Enjoy!