Klein River Cheese Farmstead is a celebration of cheese, picnics and family. We exist to unleash the inner artisan in every one of us.

 

We are not just creating cheese and picnics but inspiring chefs and romantics, nature lovers and healthy, family-centered ambassadors.

 

Our cheese is a vehicle to join the artisan movement. Klein River Cheese Farmstead is not only about our products, it’s our culture.

 

The family-run business has been crafting cheese for more than 20 years on the Farmstead.

 

Klein River Cheese is situated near Stanford, an art and foodie heritage village, surrounded by a lazy, meandering river, lush forests and grey-cliff, jagged mountains. The farm is also the home of the Baleta family since March 2015. They are dedicated to ensuring that we live and work in tune with our environment, community and Farmstead.

 

A little bit of our History
Klein River Cheese started out as a dairy farm back in the day, bottling their own milk. They slowly nurtured and built up their herd of Friesland cows and were supplying the surrounding areas with fresh milk and cream. Over the years the milk prices fluctuated forcing management to investigate an alternative use for the milk. They studied the market and decided that there was a gap for proudly South African produced hard cheese. In 1995 they used their surplus milk and started experimenting with cheese for the first time.

 

A Swiss/German cheese maker helped to set up the factory. He later taught a local blue cheese-maker, Jacko van Beulen, to make the unique South African hard cheese, we now call Gruberg. In the following years the cheese as well as the cheese-maker, won numerous awards and the cheese factory grew. Jacko is to this day still our cheese-maker and has extensive knowledge and experience in cheese craft. He merely looks at the milk and instinctively understands its quality and freshness. He has processed more than 15 million litres of milk at Klein River Cheese.

 

The calf shed was renovated into what we now know as the Picnic Shed, where guests come to taste and purchase cheese as well as a variety of locavore products. We offer delicious cheese platters and picnics that can be enjoyed on the banks of the river.

 

Klein River Cheese crafts 4 styles and 11 types of exceptional and award-winning South African cheese.

 

Our Collection of Cheese consists of the following styles:

Washed curd cheese – A process in which the curd is heated with direct addition of water into the

vat. This creates a creamy, smooth and delicious cheese.

 

Brushed rind cheese – Relies on cultures on the surface to stimulate ripening, while forming a rind

and enhancing the aroma.

 

Hard cheese – Complex round flavours develops during its slow and patient affinage.

 

Young cheese – The cheese that everyone loves. Mild flavours and a young texture, only matured

for 1 month.

 

We have always prided ourselves in being Halaal and vegetarian friendly, by using a microbial rennet and not a rennet which is derived from animals. The non-animal, microbial rennet we use, is produced by the fermentation of fungi. Traditionally, calf rennet has been regarded as the ideal cheese coagulant because of its highly specific milk clotting activity. The microbial rennet that we use shares this characteristic and is rapidly winning ground all over the world to be the preferred choice of the cheesemaker.

 

Klein River Farmstead is an environmentally conscious Farmstead and on a course for self-sustainability. It has been our mission over the last few years to live more in tune with our environment and Farmstead.

 

Cheese, while being delicious and absolutely essential in our lives, requires a fair amount of energy to be made. Therefore, we have installed a 27 kWh PV solar system in 2016 which has allowed us to save 3 tons of Carbon Dioxide and 3 MWh of power per month since its inception. That is 23 % of all electricity used in our factory and Farmstead. In essence, every 4th wedge of cheese purchased from us was made by the sun!

 

We also infested in a new environmentally friendly boiler system and improved refrigeration systems were installed to reduce affinage energy. We source water from our own dam and have 60 000 l water tanks set up on the farm to capture rain water.

 

Our whey by-product from the cheese-making is fed to our cattle on the farm – a great protein and energy source!

 

We have committed to a huge reduction in plastic use on the Farmstead and Picnic Shed. Thus, we have proudly pledged to The Last Plastic Straw Movement and we do not provide straws or plastic shopping bags at the Picnic Shed.

 

We have implemented a recycling system throughout the Farmstead and established Effective Microorganisms (EM) and 4 worm farms to create our own compost.

 

These schemes have resulted in job creation for the local community, allowing Klein River Cheese Farmstead to promote locavore values and produce cheese in a sustainable manner.

 

Klein River Cheese joined the Trees for Tourism initiative a few years ago and our reforestation site is developing into a pristine indigenous forest eco-system. It gives us enormous pleasure to see all the

indigenous trees we have planted over the last few years, standing straight and tall.

 

These days, people want fast, convenient and easy food. Sustainability, nurturing and health comes

from slow, deliberate and the purposeful. It comes from the small things – the attention to detail. The land that cows graze, the quality of milk, the nurturing and art of the cheese-maker’s hand, the shuffle of the cheese brush and precision of the cheese cutter.

 

Klein River Cheese crafts cheese. Real cheese – slowly and purposefully.

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