During a visit in 2004 to Burgundy, France, a wine artisan invited us into a cave where he ripened Comté cheese using an artisanal method: aromatic plants were grown at the bottom and on wooden shelves the cheeses were left to mature. Aromatic plants, such as rosemary and lavender, have a special effect on cheese: while they naturally purify the air and prevent mold growth, they also give the cheese a distinctive floral bouquet.
Inspired by this original idea, we decided to refine the concept to age our star cheese, Manchego with Protected Designation of Origin, in a special location.
Northwest of the city of Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalusia, on top of a hill with a stunning 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, Alimentias found the perfect spot to start this project.
The construction of Finca Maria Paz, an estate designed in the traditional style of the architecture in this area, started in 2018. On the underground level, innovative cheese caves and a greenhouse to mature the finest Spanish cheeses were created.
Four caves are used to ripen our Manchego cave aged, a unique and exquisite cheese with a floral flavor and intense aroma.
In addition, we wanted to achieve a symbiosis between cheese and the local environment, given the Finca’s location in the area where the best Sherry wine is produced. We therefore designed one of the most spectacular cavas where 5Q’s, a raw sheep’s milk cheese, is aged inside Sherry casks.
The Cask is impregnated with the distinctive colors and scents of the wine and releases a strong aroma.
During maturation, the cheese absorbs all the fragrances coming from the wood, resulting in a quintessential Spanish cheese, with an unmistakable wine-aromatic profile.
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