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Jannei goes to Melbourne!!!

After much preparation and arrangements getting cheese shipped out for delivery to the Australian Specialty Cheese Awards judging at Werribee for Friday the 24th of August and to the Cheese Show public tasting at Ormond Hall near Prahran Melbourne for the 25th August Neil and I (Janette) headed off to Melbourne for a three day stint !

We left frost and ice bitten Lidsdale ,Tim to care for the kidding goats and the Factory dormant awaiting our return . I had spent time preparing flyers and business cards and had used the” Wow” word as a prominent theme for the flyer . It was ironic because after the three days it was a WOW time we had…(and I will up date the flyer with more Wows ha!)

We had wow fun as we learnt to navigate the Tram, Bus and Train System with our Myki Cards sooo… exiting , and on a cheese level with another achievement for the Buche Noir which made for such a moral boost and excitement at the wards dinner in Fitzroy!

We stayed in a lovely apartment , had some date dinners together , did some valuable marketing talking to retail outlets, attended the Awards Dinner and had some well timed help from close family at a massively packed cheese show in which we where able to clear out most of the stock we took.

Gracing our stall apart from our super new pull up sign designed by Nick, our web site manager ,was our most recent trophy of the night before! We entered 7 cheese styles of which two achieved Gold awards in the soft curd section, the fresh curd and the Noir. The judges take the top 6 or so cheese in each category and give them a point score . This means the majority of cheese entered don’t know how they went at all unless they get a high score and even then it’s only if you get gold or win the section that you find out how you went.
As very small cheese makers we always find this difficult because we need to know how we are grading to be able to improve .

Luck has had it though that we do very well with our soft cheese. We had others in the hard cooked section, the marinated section, the textured section and the white mould section. People tasting on the Saturday loved our cheddar , agreed the fetta was a solid lower salt healthy cheese, devoured all the white moulds and approved of the exquisite curd and so on!
We pulled out cheese from sale stock to go down as we had no surplus at this time, to take, as it’s the end of winter and goats are only just kidding,, but it was well worth it!

We learnt a lot on the public cheese tasting day and while travelling around Melbourne . Its a great place because the small deli is still in demand and there we found lots of cheese and checked out what everyone else in our small industry of -farm made cheeses was doing . Our new slogan at the show on our sign was; “Quality from our farm to your home”! Which we hope you will agree it is. We spoke to business owners who where very keen to take on our cheese so I have lots of follow up to get on with! We found that Jannei still had what it takes and its given us that power boost we need, as being so small it often feels like you are up against too much competition.

Hope you enjoy the pictures , our news update and our cheese..
Cheers from Janette at Jannei Goat Dairy.

To read the full report click here and download the pdf!

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SYDNEY CHEESE AWARDS October 9, 2010 Gold Medal Winners

In recent news all three of our White mold cheese have now won a Gold at a cheese show! Jannei’s Miette took out he gold in Category 3 – Fresh Curd Matured at the Sydney Cheese Awards.

here’s a link to the website

Also our Bent Back Chèvre, Prairie Cream and Buche Noir all received gold at Melbourne Cheese Show.

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A visit to Jannei Goat dairy

WE’RE LATE. It’s a grey rainy day in November as we head west along the Great Western Highway past Lithgow heading for Jannei Goat Dairy at Lidsdale. However all is well when we do eventually arrive at Jannei, as Neil and Janette Watson are too busy packing up their cheeses for the following day’s Pyrmont Growers Market in Sydney to be concerned about our late arrival.
The Watsons started their cheese making here in 1995 when Neil decided he wanted a change from teaching agricultural science at a school in Portland. When looking for an alternative income, it’s not surprising that Neil would be thinking milk. He grew up on a dairy farm in that wonderful, rain-blessed dairying country around Wauchope on the NSW central coast.
Initially they intended to sell their fresh goat milk into the Sydney market but found this was not profitable in the volumes they could produce. So Janette supported Neil’s experiments with cheese making.
He started with hard cheeses in 1996, but soon found that what his customers in Sydney really wanted was fresh curd. Just about the only goat curd available in Sydney at the time was coming from Gabriel Kervella in Western Australia. So local chefs and retailers were delighted to have a truly local product. From this base product, Neil has added many award winning cheeses such as their Bent Back Chev, Buche noir and Chevrotin.
Cheese making takes place six days a week and while Neil is busy with the curd, Janette uses her background in advertising and design to market their cheeses to an ever-increasing number of customers.
Jannei milks around eighty goats (mostly Saanen) from a herd of one hundred producing about 130kg of cheese a week. Ninety percent of this is delivered weekly into the Sydney market where Simon Johnson is the main distributor.
Diet for the goats is very important to Neil who goes to great lengths to ensure that every goat in the herd is in peak condition, thus ensuring the highest quality milk for cheese making.
In June 2007 Neil had major heart surgery. During his hospitalisation and subsequent recovery Janette took responsibility for all aspects of the business, including the cheese making. So now they often work together in the cheese making room. The weekly trips Janette makes to the Growers Markets she says are hard work. With the long travel time, some days are barely profitable. Jannette says she looks past the sales and considers it important to be there, as it is their only regular marketing exercise.
If you would like to visit the dairy for a tasting or purchases of their cheese, phone first to check that either Neil or Janette are available. Blessed are the cheese makers.

article by – RF. Russell Smith, www.regionalfood.com.au

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Making goat cheese

Quote from website:
“SkillsOne catches up with a couple who have turned their passion for life on the land into an award-winning gourmet goat cheese business.

Neil and Janette Watson decided to follow their dream of owning a farm in the country and opened a goat farm in 1995.

Neil then used the knowledge he learned through a rural science degree to teach himself how to make cheese and dairy products from the goats’ milk. They now have a lucrative gourmet business.”

Check out the video here