If topping off a day of enjoying a walk through one of North Carolina’s best small town art districts with a primer bottle of local wine and a wheel of absolutely amazing cheese sounds heavenly, start planning your trip to West Jefferson.
Among other worth-while activities, West Jefferson is home to North Carolina’s self-proclaimed oldest cheese company known as the “Ashe County Cheese Company.”
With its cheese making tours and store, the “Ashe County Cheese Company” provides a grand gastronomical experience for novice and distinguished foodies alike.
Ashe County Cheese Company Viewing Room
The “Ashe County Cheese Company Viewing Room” affords visitors with a sweeping, in-depth view of the company’s active cheese making plant.
Back in the beginning the plant was owned and operated by Kraft Corporation but after changing hands several times throughout the years it is now privately owned by famed Wisconsin cheese makers Mike Everhart and Tom Torkelson.
Torkelson’s name may be recognized by some die hard gourmet cheese aficionados as having achieved the much coveted designation as “Wisconsin Cheese Master in 2007.
In addition to the coveted designation, Torkelson’s cheese creations have also received both National and International recognition.
A calendar listing all currently scheduled cheese making days is available on the company’s website. This way a visitor to the plant can be assured that he or she will actually be witnessing cheese being made during his or her scheduled visit.
Shop for Cheese and More
After watching how cheese is made, visitors to the “Ashe County Cheese Company” can purchase a wide variety of cheeses, local wines, local jams and jellies, local fruit butters, distinctive gift baskets, old-fashioned fudges and sweet confections as well as souvenir items.
Affordably priced, “Ashe County Cheese Company’s” gourmet cheeses make for superb accompaniments to the local wines. Those that would entertain the idea of hosting their own wine and cheese party will find everything they need at the company’s on-site store.
Visitors can choose from such distinct cheeses as Sienna, Juusto and old-fashioned cheddar daisy wheels. The cheese products tend to be priced between $3.95 to $18.75, exclusive of applicable taxes.
Those that are continuing their travels and thus want to wait to purchase “Ashe County Cheese Company” cheese products should check out the company’s online store. There, various products can be conveniently ordered and shipped right to one’s door.
Hours of Operation and Admission
The “Ashe County Cheese Company” is open Monday through Saturday year round during the hours of 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. At this time there is no fee for touring the facility.
Ashe County Cheese Company
106 East Main Street
West Jefferson, NC 28694
Those travelers that would like more information on things to see and do in the West Jefferson, North Carolina area should log onto the state’s tourism website.