You'll find one of the world's best blue cheeses in southern Oregon.
Barely five minutes from Interstate 5, the Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Ore., is camouflaged in a nondescript concrete building dating to 1928. Do not be fooled. One of the shop’s cheeses, Rogue River Blue, has won a boatload of big prizes, including one from the 2003 World Cheese Awards in London that pronounced it the world’s best blue cheese.
Made from the autumn milk of cows pastured in nearby Grants Pass, and wrapped in syrah grape leaves soaked in pear brandy during its yearlong aging process, the cheese picks up hints of pear, morel, berry, hazelnut, and pine.
No more than 4,000 five-pound wheels are produced annually, but not to worry if they sell out: The creamery turns out seven other varieties of blue, from the Smokey Blue to tangy Oregonzola, along with a passel of cheddars and TouVelles that marry cheddar, Jack, and Gouda. Snack on free samples in the shop and you might get a chance to watch cheese artisans ply their craft in the adjoining plant. (541) 665-1155, roguecreamery.com.
Photography by Michael McRae
This article was first published in September 2011. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.