The Story of Lake Chalice Sauvignon Blanc & Cranky Goat Cheese
In celebration of International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2021, we’d like to tell the story of the special relationship between the Lake Chalice Falcon Sauvignon Blanc and the Cranky Goat Cullensville Gold cheese.
The Cullensville Gold gets its name from the abandoned Gold mining town of Cullensville, located near Linkwater, Marlborough, which is where Cranky Goat cheeses are made. Gold was first reported in the Cullen’s Gulley in May of 1888, which drew in hundreds of miners, causing the Cullensville township to flourish essentially overnight. Unfortunately, a flood the following month washed the miners out. Needless to say the ‘Gold’ part of its name comes from the Gold hue of the cheese.
Lake Chalice wines come into the picture as not only a great accompaniment with the Cullensville Gold, but in the cheesemaking process itself. The process used to make the cheese is called smear-ripening; the process in which bacteria is smeared onto the rind of the cheese, and the rind is subsequently washed to discourage mould growth and give moisture to encourage the growth of the bacteria.
The Cullensive Gold is washed during the smear-ripening process with the Lake Chalice Falcon Sauvignon Blanc. It’s the perfect wash for this process as it’s pH level is beneficial for the good bacteria that the cheesemaker wants to encourage the growth of, but is hostile for the bacteria they don’t (The Falcon Sauvignon Blanc’s pH is 3.13).
The team at Cranky Goat repeat this process by hand every other day for 3 weeks – that’s a lot of wine washing! On average, there’s 2 batches of Cullensville Gold produced a week, and Cranky Goat have sold 7000 units of the cheese this year alone. This makes it their second most popular cheese, but Hellene and Simon, who started Cranky Goat in 2013, agree that the Cullensville Gold is what they’re most known for.
The perfect addition to a cheese board or added on top of a salad, the Cullensville Gold is a favourite of many due to its versatility and gorgeous texture. It’s a soft cheese, with an intense meaty aroma, has a lovely velvety texture, and melts in the mouth like a cheese sauce – anyone else drooling?
Luckily for us all, the Cranky Goat Cullensville Gold is available across New Zealand, sold both wholesale and direct, and is stocked in a number of restaurants. For those in Marlborough, Cranky Goat are regular stall-holders at the Sunday Farmers Market, and are showcasing the Cullensville Gold in particular at the Friday Night Feast, this Friday the 8th of May in Blenheim.
Lake Chalice feels honoured to have our wine be a part of such an awesome process for an awesome cheese, and to be supporting our fellow Marlborough producers.