Sally and Simon Gough are well known to many Hunter Valley visitors as the dynamic duo behind Binnorie Dairy. They have recently moved from their Hermitage Road premises to brand new purpose built building at 25 Lodge Road,Lovedale.
The new premises are about triple the size of the dairy’s original home, with the retail space alone about the same size as the old factory.
Cheesemaker Simon Gough opened Binnorie Dairy in April 2003, after travelling and making cheese throughout Europe and previously working in the Yarra Valley. Simon’s passion and skill combined with locally sourced goat and cow milk, make to produce local cheeses of world standards.
All the cheeses that they produce are made on site in Lovedale and have won top awards around the world.
Customers are now welcome to sit down while enjoying cheese tastings, antipasto and coffee, and the business will now be open seven days a week (instead of six).
Binnorie Dairy produces a range of cheeses with distinctive characters unavailable outside the region. One of the ways this is achieved is by using only locally sourced milk. “In the same way that wine reflects its regionality, due to soil variation and climatic conditions, so it is with dairy produce.”
They specialize in soft fresh cheese styles and a few surface ripened cheeses such as Brie, Washed rind and buche de chevre as well as the flagship Binnorie Dairy Marinated Fetta, and Labna.
The milk comes from a range of different breeds of cows, including Jersey, Brown Swiss and Friesian. The dairy farms are located between Scone and Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, NSW. The Goat milk comes from a genetically superior herd (six main recognized milk producing goat breeds) located just west of Singleton in the Hunter Valley.
Soft fresh cheese is a specialty of Binnorie Dairy. Soft fresh cheese is typically young in age, soft in texture and delicate in flavour. As the name suggests, fresh cheese is not matured prior to release, and its flavour does not benefit from aging. Fresh cheese requires protection from air contact to maintain flavour and shelf life.
The washed rind is made from the brie. Brie takes 7-8 days to form the rind, and then the mould (penicillin candidam) is scrubbed off over a second week and inoculated with a bacteria (Corynebacteriae) which is responsible for the vivid orange rind and complex pungent aroma and flavour.
Surface ripened cheeses begin to ripen starting just under the rind or surface and slowly moving toward the centre of the cheese. When cut, a young cheese will have a chalky slightly moist appearance which as the cheese matures will soften and eventually have a shiny creamy texture and exhibit wonderful creamy, mushroomy flavours.
Labna is made from drained yoghurt and has an intense, yoghurt flavour and acidity with its marinade of chilli, garlic and rosemary, while the Marinated feta is made the same way as Persian feta but has superior creamy flavour.