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The Craft

At Wijngaard Cheese we work with love and dedication towards the most beautiful development of the flavour of our cheeses.

Let nature do its work

Maturing is a process in which flavour and aroma are allowed to develop over time. The master cheese makers let in ambient air by opening the shutters in the old ageing room and allowing nature to play its important role. The variations in the natural conditions during the maturing process make all the difference. The cheese is always adjusting to the changing conditions around it. In warm weather, the individual cheeses heat up gradually and maturation accelerates, while in cooler weather the opposite happens: the process slows. In damp weather, the cheeses lose less of their moisture (dry out less), whereas the reverse is true in dry weather. In this way, we put nature to work to help the cheeses and their maturation. These natural differences account for the depth and complexity in flavour and aroma.

Historical ripening

In our historical ripening warehouse of 1906, the cheeses are ripening slowly for a long time in an unique microclimate and natural changes in temperature and humidity. Every week the cheeses are turned around and rubbed by hand. The cheeses are ripening faster in higher temperatures and slowly in lower ones. The natural fluctuations give the complexity of the taste, by which the cheeses lose a lot of weight, but develop an extraordinary beautiful taste.

Cheese Warehouse from 1906

The Reypenaer is ripening in an old cheese warehouse that’s more than a century old and that’s build as a cheese warehouse. With walls of stone, floors and beams of wood, provided with hatchways, inside as well as outside the cheese warehouse. The warehouse is situated on the Old Rhine in Woerden in the Netherlands, whence in the early days the cheese was delivered by boat. Because we have discovered by Reypenaer that the development of taste and flavour in the old warehouse isn’t equal to those developed with modern techniques, we have kept the cheese warehouse as it is and do we cherish it. The cheeses with the most beautiful taste come from this warehouse.

The Wijngaard Cheese Family

Grandpa Piet started in 1936 with the trade in cheese, actually as a medium of exchange for the groceries who he provided to the farmers in the region of Woerden in the Netherlands, where he was paid by cheese. During that age, cheese got more and more important. His son Jan took over the company in 1946/47 and set out completely to the ripening process. The company developed slowly but steady. In the Netherlands the cheese was more and more appreciated. In 1975, the third generation showed up, with daughter Riet, son Jan and since 1995 son Rien. In 2019, the fourth generation joined with Jan, the son of Rien.