I love my family, always up for a day outing that sounds even marginally interesting. Add in “cheese tasting,” and they were sold. And so we were off on a venture into the Waldviertel to learn about Austrian cheese production at Die Käsemacherwelt, The Cheese Makers World.
We arrived a little late for the tour (GPS, damn you, and with apologies to the cows that we blew by at perhaps slightly above the speed range in one of those small villages) and missed the introductory movie. No one seemed to mind; our guide greeted us warmly and ushered us along with the 10 or so other visitors.
The tour began with an introduction to the three sources of milk from which the Camembert  (cow and sheep) and Zeigenkäse (goat cheeses) are produced. It’s funny how everyday things we generally take for granted can be so interesting from a production standpoint (and we only understood about half of the German being spoken!)
After a discussion of the process we were invited to sample. Yay!  The best part!

 

After sampling we were ushered into a small-scale production facility where our guide demonstrated the general steps. Warm milk is rinsed with a light acid; the curds are then pressed into containers.

More rinsing, and then packaging. Easy-cheesy!

 

The tour ended with a walk through the company’s history timeline and with a second tasting of many of their products!

 

Then, onto the Hofbrauhaus München for lunch. Not the original one, but its newest “branch” in the Wachau Valley, replacing a Gasthof we occasionally dined at.   A little bit of Oktoberfest so close to home!