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. It has three floors and the stands are above each other for enough stableness. The warehouse is situated on the Old Rhine in Woerden in the Netherlands, whence in the early days the cheese was delivered by boat. The green heart of Woerden knew a lively trade in cheese because there were a lot of cheese farmers in the neighbourhood. Everything happened by hand.
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 circumstances of the ripening process in the old warehouse are the secret. We let the nature play with the fluctuations in temperature and humidity. 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.
Together with the circumstances of the ripening process, the craftsmanship is at least just so important. It is the craftsmanship, based for decennia on practical experience, which the cheese master makes capable to lead the ripening process in such way that the desired taste can be developed in the most optimal way.
And then there is also the micro flora existing of bacteria and fungus, which have nested in the course of years in the wood of the shelves, beams and floors. These factors cannot be measured and we can’t build this effect on scientifically grounds, but we sure can taste the effect in the rich distinguished taste!