The Willamette Valley Cheese Company is located right in the heart of Willamette Valley’s wine country and draws inspiration from the surrounding vineyards, offering cheeses like Pinot Crushed Gouda from their extensive selection of cheeses. Best of all, visitors to the tasting room can try as many different styles as they want: for free!
Owned by the Volbeda family, the family had been dairy farming for decades before opening the Willamette Valley Cheese Company, one of the first farmstead cow’s milk cheesemakers in Oregon. Using sustainable farming practices, the Willamette Valley Cheese Company is a major supplier of cheese to other local farms and restaurants and is also involved in community efforts like the 4H Club. The farm does things the old-fashioned way, milking their own Jersey cows and making the cheeses fresh each day. Offering both raw milk and pasteurized varieties, everything, including pasteurization, takes place on the premises. As the feed changes seasonally, so do flavors and varieties of cheeses.
The Willamette Valley Cheese Company has a tasting room on the farm’s premises. Head up the dirt driveway, mindful of stray herd dogs or sheep and past the cows, to the small tasting room and enjoy your fill of free tastings of the award-winning cheeses—but don’t forget to bring some home to go with a bottle of Pinot from the surrounding Eola Hills and Dundee Hills vineyards. The simple tasting room belies the refrigerated cases filled with current offerings ranging from spiced and wine infused Havarti and Jack cheeses to hard cheese like Fontina and Cheddar, and numerous others. A personal favorite is the raw milk Brindisi and the smoked Gouda. Every cheese neatly mapped out on the chalkboard behind the counter is available for a free taste.
If you can’t make it to the tasting room, Willamette Valley Cheeses sell in specialty shops, supermarkets and farmers markets around the Pacific Northwest.