For the cheese-mongers and cheese-lovers around Bi-Rite Market, a sure sign that it’s mid-September is the arrival of the 2012 vintage of Rogue River Blue. A very special seasonal cheese from Rogue Creamery, Rogue River Blue is made for only six weeks each year (the exact dates shift, but they’re always right around the autumnal equinox), and with such fine quality and limited production, RRB’s fall release is always eagerly anticipated.
Rogue Creamery has been in operation in Oregon since the 1930s. Since taking over the Creamery in the new millennium, owners David Gremmels and Cary Bryant have received numerous industry awards and accolades for their fine cheeses, and Rogue River Blue is undoubtedly among their finest. Made with milk from the Rogueview Dairy, this hand-crafted raw cow’s milk cheese develops a beautiful natural rind as it’s lovingly turned and tended in special aging rooms for eight to twelve months. Wheels are wrapped in Syrah grape leaves harvested from Carpenter Hill Vineyards in the Rogue River Valley that have been macerated in Clear Creek’s Pear Brandy, then tied with raffia. The grape leaves add additional complexity to the terroir-driven flavors of the cheese and preserve its moist, creamy texture. You’ll find notes of earthy cellar in perfect concert with bright, juicy fruit and your tongue will be tickled by the creamy-yet-granular paste. Rogue River Blue is currently available at our 18th Street and Divisadero Market locations, so come in and ask for a taste. This cheese is not to be missed.