Shepherdista Crush

Seana Doughty grew up in Southern California, where the only cheeses in her childhood home were Velveeta & Kraft singles, along with the occasional commodity block cheddar. However, food had always been a passion. In 2008, she made a life-changing decision to quit her desk job and immerse herself in the world of cheese, first as a cheesemonger in Southern California. She soon opened her own creamery, Bleating Heart, and began making sheep's milk cheese in the cooler climate of the Northern California coast.

To make the experimental Shepherdista Crush, Seana has taken some older wheels of her Shepherdista and soaked them in Zinfandel grape pomace, the seeds and skins that remain after the grapes are pressed into wine. The wheels, which are made from raw sheep's milk, are buried in the fermented mash for a month during which time they take on flavors of fruit and raisins that complement the paste's rich tanginess. Inspired by similar styles of cheese found in Europe, Shepherdista Crush is a celebration both of local milk and Northern California's annual grape harvest.

Available seasonally.

Farm / Company: Bleating Heart

Cheesemaker: Seana Doughty & Dave Dalton

Proprietor: Seana Doughty & Dave Dalton

Affineur: Seana Doughty & Dave Dalton

City, State: Tomales, CA

Region: West

Country: USA

Milk Type: Sheep

Milk Treatment: Raw

Rennet: Traditional

Rind: Soaked in grape pomace

Texture: Firm

Aging: 6 months

Size(s): 1.5-pound wheel