April is National Grilled Cheese Month - 30 days of homage to fromage. And Vermont, home to more artisan cheese makers per capita than any other state, is widely known for the quality and variety of its cheese. So wake up and smell the Cheddar, and join BnBFinder on a Vermont Cheese Trail to celebrate an American classic: the Grilled Cheese.
Willow Hill Farm – Milton, VT
Willow Hill ripens its cheese in concrete caves eight feet underground. These caves provide the perfect climate for the aging process, and also enhance flavor due to the presence of natural molds and water droplets. The end result is a product similar to Roquefort, one of the world’s most popular varieties. When not producing internationally recognized, award-winning cheeses, Willow Hill raises grass-fed lamb and certified organic blueberries.
Signature Cheeses: Paniolo, La Fleurie, and Butternut
Shelburne Farms – Shelburne, VT
Thirty miles south of Milton on Interstate 89 lies the second stop on our cheese trail. Shelburne is a 1,400-acre working farm, and also serves as a nonprofit sustainability education center. Protected as a National Historic Landmark, the farm makes its popular Farmhouse cheddar by hand, using milk from purebred Brown Swiss Cows.
Signature Cheeses: Six-Month Cheddar, Two-Year Cheddar, and Smoked Cheddar
Once you’ve had your fill of cheese for the day, rest & relaxation is less than five minutes away at the Heart of the Village Inn, also located in Shelburne. The inn is nearby all the local dairy farms, as well as several vineyards and the Shelburne Museum. The Heart of the Village is set in a Victorian home that was built in 1886, and offers 9 luxurious guestrooms, all with private baths.
Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery – Websterville, VT
Day two of this cheese expedition starts off by heading south on I-89 for 50 miles until you hit Websterville. There you will find the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery, which produces unique varieties of aged goat cheese like Bonne Bouche and Cremont, among many other goat and cow cheeses. The farm relies on sustainable practices to achieve its signature flavors, and to ensure a healthy, quality product. This B Corp certified creamery has been a pioneer in theAmerican artisan cheese industry for nearly 30 years.
Signature Cheeses: Bonne Bouche, Cremont, and Fromage Blanc
Neighborly Farms of Vermont – Randolph Center, VT
Neighborly Farms operates on 168 acres and boasts a herd of 48 Holsteins – the black and white cows we all know and love. The farm produces 10 varieties of organic cheese, including Colby and Jalapeño Monterey Jack – both are former winners of the American Cheese Society competition. Besides cheese, the farm also cultivates other organic dairy, maple, and bee products. While touring the Neighborly facility, sample some of the farm’s fine products and get a behind-the-scenes look at the cheesemaking process.
Signature Cheeses: Colby, Jalapeño Monterey Jack, and Sage Cheddar
Toward the end of this cheese trail, a well-deserved night’s rest awaits at The Northfield Inn. Operating in a beautifully restored Victorian mansion, the inn features awe-inspiring views of the surrounding Green Mountains. Guests enjoy charming bedrooms, elegant common areas, and a delicious, old-fashioned breakfast each morning.
Plymouth Artisan Cheese – Plymouth, VT
The final stop on day three is the Plymouth Artisan Cheese Farm – from Northfield, the scenic route to Plymouth runs alongside the magnificent Coolidge State Forest. The cheese factory is the second-oldest in the United States, and was founded by the father of the 30th President, Calvin Coolidge. Plymouth produces its granular curd cheeses by hand from raw whole milk, using the precise recipe that has been handed down over the generations. The process is labor-intensive and time-consuming, but it’s worth it – the Original Plymouth variety was culinary legend Julia Child’s favorite cheese.
Signature Cheeses: Original Plymouth, East Meadow, and RumRunner