Telepathic sheep? A ghost ewe in the milking shed? Have you flocculated today? Come on down, folks, Grandvewe has it all….
Diane Rae was knee deep in mud, struggling at the back end of a heavy, pregnant and very sick ewe. The sheep was swinging like lead in a make shift hammock tied to the ends of two star pickets. The star pickets’ edges cut her shoulders like butter. Desperate for anything to cushion the sharp steel, Diane stopped, removed her hoodie and padded it over her shoulders. Standing resplendent in bra and gumboots, physically spent, she yelled to her husband and the universe, “My body wasn’t meant to carry sheep!” It’s not only sheep that bleat.
What had started out as a semi-retirement plan for the Raes to grow vines, run a few sheep and make a small living in the temperate countryside of Tasmania, somehow morphed into an all encompassing passion Diane has now for sheep, and the milk products thereof. The vines died, and the sheep thrived.
Have you visited Grandvewe farm and its cheesery? If not, put it on your calendar and make the trek. The cheese is glorious. A dazzling array of soft, hard, blue and whatever else Diane fancies stand to attention under glass domes in the shop. If you look straight ahead you’ll see the big wheels of cheese maturing in a room, and on the right, a glass window proudly displays the cheese making process run by Diane’s daughter, Nicole.
The business is family through and through and while looking prosperous now, Diane’s put some tough times in over the last 15 years. She has some incredible tales to tell. Such as when the flock in a paddock over the hill gathered on the rise and she got a ‘message’ telepathically that they were out of grass – she read that loud and clear. Or when a dead ewe, whose babies she’d promised to take care of, reappeared as a shadow when her babies were in the barn. Even how Diane put a half-dead lamb in a plastic bag slung over her body and dipped it, twice, into a basin of hot water – the second time worked.
Grandvewe boasts two main breeds of sheep: the prima donna East Frieslands, who “love to die”, and the Awasi who were actually birthed while in a truck bound from Queensland to Melbourne. As the truck was unloading, a lamb ran off – unheard of in the industry. And while Diane’s the proud owner now with her two children, Nicole and Ryan, she is always planning bigger and better things. Her son has developed the first ever unique sheep’s whey vodka. And mighty fine it is too.
So for those of you who struggle with cows’ milk products – or not – seek out the Grandvewe label, and treat yourself to a selection of pure, pristine ewe’s milk cheese products from a very special place in the world. And don’t forget to ask Diane about her new “Old Man’s Cheese” which is smelly, and semi-hard! Oh, it’s wonderful to meet someone in the industry with such a wicked sense of humour! The signs in the pics say it all.
And if you’re still wondering about that flocculation…… well, that’s part of the cheese making process, and something we’ll cover soon. Just so we can say we got our hands in there – hair net and boots and all.
Grandvewe Cheesery and farm, 59 Devlyn’s Road, Birchs Bay, Tas 7162
Ph: 03 6267 4099 Email: [email protected]
Now also open for tastings at the Brooke Street Pier, Franklin Wharf, Hobart.
Have you been to Grandvewe and seen the grand view?? It is a wonder. Tell us below.