When Laura Chenel began making chevre in Sebastopol in the late 1970s, Americans were still largely unfamiliar with goat cheese. But soon, Chenel’s chevre won a spot on the menu at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and before long, her pioneering cheese business took off. In 2006, Chenel sold her company to a French outfit that continues her dedication to producing top-quality fresh and aged goat cheeses that reflect Sonoma County terroir.

Mélodie is a flat round that is dusted with ash to create its signature dark gray and white rind, thought to resemble piano keys. It has a soft, smooth texture, and mild floral and lactic flavors that become more complex as the cheese ages. Mélodie is equally at home on a cheese plate, alongside a crisp Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, or melted onto a pressed sandwich.

Farm / Company: Laura Chenel’s Chevre

Cheesemaker: Adriana Benitez


Affineur: Adriana Benitez

City, State: Sonoma, CA

Region: West

Country: USA

Milk Type: Goat

Milk Treatment: Pasteurized

Rennet: Vegetarian

Rind: Natural

Texture: Soft

Aging: 8 days

Size(s): 3 pound wheel