This mountain cheese gets a royal treatment
by the “best white wine in the world”
Heida is one of the most highly regarded white wines in the world. One cheese maker uses this noble juice to refine his cheese.
Lack and inconvenience are not always bad. Not for instance, when they guide people towards creative solutions. - Like it was the case in Visperterminen, a village on 4,100 feet altitude in the rocky Wallis canton. Life and work aren’t easy in this area, and therefore, especially after the industrialization, many people left. The few who remained decided to work hard, put forces together and make their lives better.
One of them is cheese maker Nikolaus Heinzmann. He realized that St.Jodern Kellerei, a vintners coop producing the prestigeous Heida wine - made of a Salvagnin grape wit the same name - had done a great job promoting the fact that their vineyard was the one on highest altitude in all of Europe. People started to refer to Visperterminen as Heida-Dorf (Heida Village). That the Heida Barrique 2012 got honored as “Best White Wine In the World” at the International Wine Challenge in London only helped.
So Heinzmann started to work on a Heida cheese. He decided to not just wash the wheels with the wine but to let the yeasts in the grape must do some work as well. Therefore Heinzmann uses the Fine Yeast of the wine to influence not only the texture and flavor of the cheese, but to also develop a wonderfully aromatic and darkish rind.
Heida is a sturdy mountain cheese crafted of raw milk and tastes best after 10-12 months of aging, but matures gracefully up to 1 1/2 years. Under the impressive rind hides a compact inside that is smooth when younger and becomes more dry and brittle over time. The flavors dance between rustic and elegant, zingy and sweet. - Heida is a marriage of two stars, and the delight when eating the cheese is according.