The Story Behind the Cheese
Everona Dairy started because of a Border Collie! In 1992, Pat went to
a Wine and Fiber Festival at Montpelier, Madison's home near us south of Orange, Virginia. A man was demonstrating
what his Border Collie could do. He happened to have two pups for sale and she came home with one of them. Then,
of course, in a little while, Pat needed something for the pup to do and so she got some sheep. Then she needed something
productive for the sheep to do, she thought about milking them. People do milk sheep, don't they? Of course.
She found out that more sheep are milked in the world than cows, and that their milk is very special for cheese-making.
Pat had already taught herself
how to make cheese; she is Renaissance in that she likes to do everything for herself that she can. By 1996, she
had gotten Friesian dairy sheep, taken a cheese course in Wisconsin on the scientific side of cheesemaking and visited Greece.
Dell, our foundation Border Collie had arrived from Wales in 1994 to be our right hand dog.
This year The dairy will make about four tons of cheese. We find the climate here in the Virginia Piedmont is as good for
cheese as it is for wine - the terroir, as they say. We make several types of aged sheep's milk cheese -our signature
cheese is Piedmont, followed closely by the Cracked Pepper, and we will present the others to you.
Everona Dairy Business Philosophy
We are producing award-winning sheep's milk cheese - aged, washed-rind, and unpasteurized.
As simple as it gets. It is exciting to introduce people to the complexities of good cheese. We are trying to
"spread the word" bite by bite. Always looking for ways to improve our products, at Everona we strive to continue
the tradition of artisan cheesemaking techniques while keeping up with the growing demand for local, farmstead cheeses.
Of course, we also believe in educating, and are always happy to answer your questions.
Dr. Pat Elliott, Founder and Cheesemaker:
Founder & matriarch, Dr. Pat Elliott passed the legacy of Everona
Dairy to her son, Brian Wentz. With her from the start, Brian is now owner of the Dairy. His wife Carolyn learned
the art of artisanal cheesemaking guided by the sure hand of Dr. Elliott.
Making sheep's milk cheese was a different challenge for Dr. Elliott. A self-taught
cheese maker she tended to make everything at home. " I make my own bread, soap, fruit preserves and
ice cream, so why not sheep's milk cheese!" She read many books on making cheese as well as taking classes
in Wisconsin and eventually she went to Greece to learn more about the craft.
In addition, Dr. Elliott carried on her medical practice, raised Border
Collies, wrote poetry and prose and had many other interests.
Now, with Brain as owner and
his wife Carolyn, the master cheesemaker, Everona Dairy carries her vision forward.
Want to come visit? Call and make
an appointment. We want to make
sure we are ready for your visit.
$20.00 per adult, children are free.
Below is our "Make Room".
The cheese has just
pressed and is ready for
the aging process.