The "Hills are Alive" at the Von Trapp Family Farm!
The Village Cheese Shop staff was welcomed by Sebastian Von Trapp, grandson of the famed family who inspired the film "The Sound of Music" at his cattle farm and cheesemaking facility in quaint Waitsfield, central Vermont, on August 17, 2017.
Certified organic, the facility was impressively clean and organized, meticulously and fastidiously tended to by the three young workers we'd met on the tour.
From his herd of approximately 30 cattle of mixed breeds, Sebastian makes "Oma" (German for "Grandma"), a large tender-pasted cheese washed in a brine solution, "Mt Alice" (named after the neighboring peak), a brie-styled bloomy rind cheese which displays earthy, mushroom flavors after a few weeks aging, and "Mad River Bleu" (inspired by the eponymous local river), a lush bleu innoculated with pennicillum and pierced with thick needles to augment veining.
The whey from the milk is pumped out of the vat room daily and fed to Sebastian's pigs from which he makes bacon, sausage and cheese-infused chorizo.
Neighboring the cattle farm, Sebastian's aunt and uncle run an impressive nursery, which is certainly worth a visit after strolling the quaint village of Waitsfield, laden with gift-shops and cafés.
We felt very fortunate to be welcomed by Sebastian and his staff; the farm is generally not open to the public and is not marked with signs on the roads nor Waitsfield village. The drive here is for quality cows milk cheese, made organically, and the nascent charcuterie project. The stables were amongst the cleanest and best-smelling I've ever visited in Vermont, once again testament to Sebastian's commitment to hygeine and consistent quality.