HUNTER VALLEY CHEESE COMPANY
Peter Curtis and Rosalia (Rose) Lambert founded the Hunter Valley Cheese Company and commenced operations in April of 1995. Their dream was to create an Australian, yet European inspired, range of specialty cheese to suit the fruit driven wines of the iconic Hunter Valley.
Relocating from Melbourne with their five (5) year old daughter Riley, following careers in Physical Education and Property Renovation in inner city Carlton Fitzroy their desire was to build a future around country lifestyle and family values in a creative food and wine region. Happenstance and with good fortune they were approached by Fay and Brian McGuigan to build a cheese factory at their newly established Winery and Cellar Door in Central Pokolbin.
THE CHEESE FACTORY HAD A HOME, NOW, WHERE TO LIVE?!
As city slickers they found themselves (with the help of Fay McGuigan) waking up with the cows, goats and chickens in the cutest farmhouse on Oakey Creek Road – where they would live for the next 10years. And so cheesemaking began in earnest, the days milk was sourced from the Oak Dairy at Hexham (and collected at 4am each morning) as the first batches of our new range of artisan cheese built a happy home of microflora to mature our cheese ‘babies’ in our temperature controlled ‘cave’.
THEY HAD MADE HUNTER VALLEY CHEESE! IT WAS A SUCCESS!
The factory outlet or cheese rooms were fitted with tastings bays and delis and soon enough visitors were stopping by to discover their favourite cheeses to share with their family and friends. Mass production and supply to major retailors had never been on the Hunter Valley Cheese team cards and remains so today. This allows the productive freedom to create truly traditional farmhouse cheese with sharp, piquant aromas and flavours and to enjoy one on one end user education and shared love of fine cheese.
Twenty-six (26) years of Hunter Valley life (they are almost locals) they have survived the ups and downs of small family and business life. Proudly, their incredible team have been with the company for between 10-26years and are all passionate about quality cheese and cheese education.
Sadly, Peter Curtis passed in 2016, a devastating time for this family & work team. Peters cheesemaking talent & experience provides a team legacy second to none.
Rose Lambert continues to lead the way to excellence alongside her daughter Riley Curtis and Head Cheesemaker David Bower. As one of the instigators of the resurgence of Australian small cheesemaking industry producing cheese to rival the cheeses of the world they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with their industry peers and cheese lovers alike.
Finally, they have reached their dream of creating a flavoursome authentic and much-loved range of Hunter Valley Cheese and are extremely proud, yet humble of their place in Australian Cheesemaking history.