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Best free/cheap cheese tastings in Vermont??!!!

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SageNYC Sep 21, 2009 12:32 AM

My girlfriend is a hardcore New York urbanite and she's going with me on a foliage filled weekend trip up to Vermont. She also happens to be a CHEESE ADDICT. It would be great if we could find a cheese farm that demonstrates the process of cheese creation and also offers a variety of cheese tastings. Does anyone know of a reasonably priced or even better, FREE cheese farm where we could sample a bunch of cheese?

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    askeenan RE: SageNYC Sep 21, 2009 05:31 AM

    We loved sugar bush or Sugar hill farm near Woodstock It was excellent . Tons of samles, maple syruping trail, farm animals etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: askeenan
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      madisoneats RE: askeenan Sep 21, 2009 05:54 AM

      second Sugarbush-- it's the best

      1. re: madisoneats
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        bakersma RE: madisoneats Sep 23, 2009 06:50 PM

        Ditto :-)

    2. Morganna RE: SageNYC Sep 21, 2009 05:47 AM

      This isn't a farm, but the Cabot Creamery factory tour is GREAT. It's not free, but it's very cheap. I think it's two bucks a person. You get to see the cheese making process and a short video about the Coop. It's really a nice tour. They have loads of samples in their shop(s), so if you don't want to pay anything, you can always just stop in to the outlets for free samples.

      http://www.cabotcheese.coop/pages/vis...

      Also, Cold Hollow Cider Mill often has cheese samples out, and there's a wine shop near it where they do wine sampling (though I think they charge for that). Cold Hollow is a bit touristy, but it's the BEST cider EVAH. ;) Well I like it a lot anyway.

      Another farm place to go for apple stuff is Allenhome Farms up in South Hero. It's a bit of a hike, but a great place with a nice little farm shop and pick your own apples stuff. :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Morganna
        Delhiwala RE: Morganna Sep 21, 2009 02:15 PM

        I second the suggestion to go to Cabot - it is a lot of fun, you'll learn all about making chesse, and you can stuff yourself on free chese samples!

        1. re: Delhiwala
          Veggo RE: Delhiwala Sep 21, 2009 08:49 PM

          Another vote for Cabot. Nobody carries their horseradish cheddar here in Florida that I know of, so when I'm at their tasting room I pig out.

          1. re: Veggo
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            andreaQ RE: Veggo Sep 24, 2009 11:09 AM

            i vote for cabot too. you don't have to go on the tour if it's not your thing. You can just come in and sample cheeses, maplesyrups, mustards etc. There's no pressure to buy. Only issue is that you are mostly sampling different types of cheddar (which I guess is only an issue if you're looking for variety and not just CHEESE LOVE!).

            Another good option is the Mountain Cheese and Wine Shop in Stowe, VT (off of rt 108). Tried a delicious welsh cheese called Red Dragon there. It's a mustard & ale flavored cheddar. MMMMM!!!

            1. re: andreaQ
              Morganna RE: andreaQ Sep 24, 2009 11:31 AM

              Well, it -is- just cheddar that they make. ;) But yeah, it can be a lot of cheddar at one go.

      2. r
        rbailin RE: SageNYC Sep 21, 2009 04:52 PM

        Also not a farm, but with a more than decent selection of free cheese samples, is the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham and Weston. And when you get tired of cheese, you can also sample their jams, jellies, mustards & salsas. And then maybe find something worth actually buying.

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          littlej RE: SageNYC Sep 21, 2009 08:25 PM

          It is not a farm, but on Rte 30 in Brattleboro there is a Grafton Cheese outlet/cheese factory. Lots of free cheses to taste, plus I think during the week you can see them making it. It is free.

          5 Replies
          1. re: littlej
            Veggo RE: littlej Sep 21, 2009 08:46 PM

            The 5 year Grafton cheddar is really good. It won't be free, but if you and it are in the same room, buy it.

            1. re: Veggo
              kattyeyes RE: Veggo Sep 22, 2009 03:42 AM

              Having just tried their 2-year cheddar last night, I'm sure you're onto something. Yum!

              1. re: Veggo
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                RichK RE: Veggo Sep 22, 2009 12:09 PM

                Have you tried their cheddar married with the bleu cheese? OMG - outstanding!

                1. re: RichK
                  kattyeyes RE: RichK Sep 24, 2009 03:14 PM

                  I picked some up today on the way home--OMG is right. WOW! It's called Grafton Duet Cheese and I have already had a nice snack of it as soon as I got in the door.

                  http://www.denpubs.com/Articles-c-200...

                  Folks in Central CT, you can find this taste sensation at The Wild Raspberry in Cromwell. Mmmmmmmmmmm!

                  Thank you, RichK!

              2. re: littlej
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                askeenan RE: littlej Sep 22, 2009 06:31 AM

                There other location in Grafton village is a nice stop. Def. not a big place but worth going to as the village is just a beautiful place to walk around and take in the fall foliage! Definately try the 6 year aged (it is fabulous)

              3. Fritter RE: SageNYC Sep 22, 2009 02:57 AM

                Here's a few links that may help. I've never been but we have looked at the same fall trip a few times and hope to do it in the future. Please post your trip chow finds when you get back. :)

                http://www.vtcheese.com/cheesetrail.htm

                http://www.vtcheese.com/

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fritter
                  Morganna RE: Fritter Sep 22, 2009 05:20 AM

                  Oh great links! Thanks Fritter!

                2. stuck in Hartford County RE: SageNYC Sep 22, 2009 01:51 PM

                  I learned a bit about cheese making at Cabot, but like the taste of Grafton better. Also check out Shelburne Falls- they had a nice store with good cheese, maple sugar stuff and it's also a winery. They have a website, also. Addi tionally, the Shelburne Farmers Market is open on Saturdays at the Parade Ground.

                  Oh, I just found my Big E Vermont Vacation Guide and there is a listing of Vermont Cheese producers- there are 36 farms listed with a description of what they produce and their location. The ones in bold letters (more $$$?) are:
                  Shelburne Farms
                  Cabot Creamery
                  Crowley Cheese Inc.
                  Sugarbush Farm

                  The Vacation Guide (Summer/Fall 2009) lists two websites-
                  www.visitvt.com
                  wwwVermontVacation.com

                  and 1-800-VERMONT

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: stuck in Hartford County
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                    hilltowner RE: stuck in Hartford County Sep 22, 2009 02:57 PM

                    Shelburne Falls is a village in Massachusetts. Shelburne Farm is in Shelburne, VT. No falls. I only mention this so people don't get confused while googling.

                    1. re: hilltowner
                      stuck in Hartford County RE: hilltowner Sep 22, 2009 03:22 PM

                      Oops! Falls, Farms. It was a long day at work today- I could go for a leaf peeping and cheese tour in VT...

                      1. re: hilltowner
                        Chris VR RE: hilltowner Sep 22, 2009 05:54 PM

                        Shelburne Farm is great, they have observation windows where you can watch and they show the times when things will happen on a blackboard. You'd need to stay at the farm for a while to be able to see most of the process. They offer tastings of a wide variety of their cheeses. There is a Bakery there, and a lunch cart.

                        However, it's not free, $8pp admission. I also don't remember a winery or "maple sugar stuff" in the farm itself, is that stuff in the Welcome Center? The $8pp gives you a hayride to the farm itself. If you just go to the Welcome Center, you wouldn't be able to view the cheesemaking.

                        1. re: Chris VR
                          stuck in Hartford County RE: Chris VR Sep 23, 2009 05:07 AM

                          No-sorry if I gave the impression that the winery is at the farm-it's off of route 7 near the Farm- their website is www.shelburnevineyard.com. Shelburne Farm cheeses (and maple syrup) can be purchased at several stores near the farm, as we always stop to shop at the Shelburne Country Store. It's not a huge town, and I lump the "attractions" together . Sorry if I caused confusion.

                    2. p
                      pacheeseguy RE: SageNYC Sep 24, 2009 11:55 AM

                      I've traveled to Vermont for many a cheese buying business trip.
                      I strongly recommend these three:
                      Vermont Butter & Cheese company - http://butterandcheese.net/
                      Bufala di Vermont Cheeses, Woodstock - http://www.bufaladivermont.com/cheese...
                      Sugarbush - http://www.sugarbushfarm.com/

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: pacheeseguy
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                        SageNYC RE: pacheeseguy Sep 30, 2009 01:38 PM

                        I just wanted to thank everyone for their GREAT suggestions! We ended up going to three spots:

                        First the Grafton Cheese Company in Brattleboro. Inside was just awesome. They had roughly 10 samples of their cheeses. My favorite was the four-star grafton and my girlfriend loved the maple. They also had a couple of cheese spreads, and our consensus favorite was the blue-cheddar spread. It was out of this world. We later used most it to make some blue-cheddar mashed potatoes -- HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! You could also check out the cheese making on the spot which was pretty neat, although there wasn't that much to it.

                        Next up was the Vermont Country Store and OH MY LORD, this is a must stop spot for anyone going to vermont. Growing up in Massachusetts I have to say this is the quintessential New England store. And they have everything there. Fudges, cheese, meats, toys, clothing, hats, masks, soaps, spreads. Anything you could think of, they have it. They even had an old pair of waxed lips that I haven't seen for almost 20 years. Oh and one more thing, you can SAMPLE ALMOST EVERYTHING!! It was just a blast.

                        Last we went on the long trek to Sugarbush Farms. After driving down multiple dirt road after dirt road I was certain we were lost. But then sure enough in the distance was this beautiful family run farm. It was just spectacular. Inside their little home was an entire room dedicated to cheese tasting. We tried all 14 kinds of cheese they make and they were all fantastic. Next room was a giant room of meats and spreads and dips and syrups. Again all fantastic. I loved the venison and the grade B syrup. After buying a cheese sampler we headed to their short ten minute walk through the woods across from the parking lot. Beautiful views and you great demo of how they extract the syrup from the trees along the path.

                        All told a wonderful trip and we couldn't have enjoyed it without all your help! So thanks again everyone!

                        1. re: SageNYC
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                          nk32 RE: SageNYC Apr 6, 2010 11:43 AM

                          Hi SageNYC. I'm thinking of doing a similiar trip to VT with my boyfriend this summer -- sounds like you had a blast! Can you tell me where you stayed and if you recommend it?
                          Thanks!

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