Bwlchwernen Fawr is a 130-acre farm located about 10 miles from the coast in southwest Wales. Organic since 1973, the farm raises Ayrshire cows, a hardy breed known for producing milk that is perfect for cheesemaking – high in butterfat, but with smaller fat globules. In 2005, farm owner Patrick Holden began discussing the possibility of developing a farmstead cheese with his son, Sam, and Sam’s wife, Rachel. The family worked with cheesemaker Simon Jones of Lincolnshire Poacher fame, and used his recipe as a starting point for their own cheese, Hafod (pronounced “Havod”).
Hafod is made like a cheddar – its curds are cut into loaves and stacked, and the wheels are wrapped in cloth to age. The cheese has a smooth texture, a mild tanginess, and distinctive flavors of butter and nuts that the Holdens attribute to the high quality of both the milk and the pastures the cows graze on.
Farm / Company: Holden Farm Dairy
Cheesemaker: Sam Holden
Proprietor: Sam and Rachel Holden
Affineur: Neal's Yard Dairy
City, State: Lampeter
Milk Type: Cow
Milk Treatment: Raw
Aging: 10-18 months
Size(s): 22-pound wheel