Dalewood Fromage Regenerative Farm
Dalewood Fromage is an artisanal farmstead cheesery with the goal to handcraft pasteurised cheeses and dairy produce. Situated in the Cape Winelands, it’s a passion-driven family business dedicated to producing quality cheese, from the ground up. An authentic Estate product produced from a single pasture-fed Jersey herd.
The rotationally grazed Jersey herd spends each day on green pastures and the focus of Dalewood is on regenerative farming. Pastures are precisely managed beginning with the gentle nurturing of the biological life in the soil. No artificial fertilizers, insecticides or weed killers are used to boost these pastures. The cows never receive growth or milk-production hormones or any unnecessary antibiotics.
Rob Visser, second generation farmer, is passionate about his stud Jersey herd, and has an eco- friendly approach to farming. Dalewood has embarked on a new journey inspired largely by Dr Christine Jones, a soil ecologist from Australia and is totally committed to regenerative farming:
"To the pressing worldwide challenge of restoring topsoil, soil ecologist Dr. Christine Jones offers an accessible, inspiring perspective. Over several decades, Christine has worked with innovative farmers and ranchers implementing regenerative land management practices that enhance biodiversity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, productivity, water quality and community and catchment health”.
It all starts with:
- No tilling of the soil – no mechanical intervention ·
- Lots of diversity of plants and photosynthesis,
- Lots of insects, spiders, fungi which support life and give biological function to soil ·
- Living roots = green leaves = microbial activity.
In 2019 Dalewood dramatically increased the planting of their pasture species to include a variety of Cocksfoot grasses, additional clover species, Vetch (a multi-purpose crop), Serradella (a winter- growing annual pasture legume), lucerne and a selection of wild turnips and radishes.
Plants make soil, grow soil and maintain soil ...
“The meaning of artisanal as it relates to food and drink, refers to products that are made on a small scale, mostly by hand, that reflect the personality and passion of the maker, made with high quality ingredients that can be traced back to the source and that reflect the nuances of the origin“. Visser
All Dalewood cheese is suitable for vegetarians and contains no preservatives, flavourants or colourants.
The farm is home to The Cheesery ShopTM which is a destination cheese accessory outlet stocking a range of speciality cheese knives, cheese boards, Camembert bakers, Girolles, olives, preserves and farm fresh free range eggs.
Pasture fed Jersey Herd
The gorgeous, fawn-coloured, long-lashed Jersey cows on the lush pastures of Dalewood Farm all have an added sparkle in their eyes. And rightly so, as they are the first step in creating a string of award-winning cheeses.
According to Jo Robinson “dairy products from pastured animals are ideal for your health. They are richer in antioxidants; including vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.
Dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of the good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.
Milk from pastured cows often offers additional health benefits. Besides giving you five times more CLA, this milk also contains an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids or EFAs; omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
A cow raised on pasture produces far less milk that a cow raised in a confinement dairy on a grain-based diet. Dairy products from grass-fed cows have a rich yellow colour that is visible proof of their bonus supply of carotenes. Serve cheese from a grass-based dairy, and everyone will notice the difference. The less milk a cow produces, the more vitamins in her milk.”
Extract written by Jo Robinson – a New York Times bestselling writer. She is the author / co-author of eleven published books including Pasture Perfect, a comprehensive overview of the benefits of choosing products from pasture-raised animals.
Dalewood cows never receive growth or milk production increasing hormones, neither do they receive any unnecessary antibiotics. Bottom line; the cows are happy and happy cows produce valuable, delicious milk, which in turn makes good cheese. We hope you will taste the differene.
Dalewood Fromage is an integral part of Dalewood Farm. It is an artisanal farmstead producing cheese from the ground up with the goal to handcraft. The source is Dalewood’s own Jersey milk which makes it an ESTATE cheese.
Dalewood’s unique recipe was formulated by Rob Visser who studied Dairy Technology. After years of experimenting, time in France sniffing out traditional cheese making secrets and countless cheese tastings the Wineland range was launched – inspired by the magic and romance of the surrounding vineyards.
The range of speciality cheese includes Brie, Camembert and Blue in different styles, shapes and sizes to suit any occasion. Last but not least are the Huguenot®, Boland™ and Lanquedoc™; uniquely Dalewood, uniquely South African.
To enhance flavour profile white mould cheese (Brie, Camembert & Blue) should be served at room temperature.
Because of its eco friendly approach to farming Dalewood is able to produce a natural product with no preservatives, colourants or flavourants and suitable for vegetarian