Sinodun Hill - August Cheese of the Month

 
Photo: Neal's Yard Dairy

Photo: Neal's Yard Dairy

 

Sinodun Hill is a lactic goat’s cheese, with a sweet almond flavour and smooth texture. It is a beautiful fresh cheese, perfect for summer.

A relatively new cheese, young cheesemakers Fraser Norton & Rachel Yarrow, have been making it in Oxfordshire since 2016. Sinodun Hill won Best New Cheese at the British Cheese Awards in 2017.

Sinodun Hill has the truncated pyramid shape of classic French goat’s cheeses, and a wrinkly golden rind. It is matured over three to four weeks to develop a rich flavour and creamy consistency. 

Unpasteurised goats' milk
Vegetarian rennet 


What’s special about Sinodun Hill?

Sinodun Hill is made with the unpasteurised milk from Yarrow and Norton’s own herd of pure Anglo-Nubian goats.  Currently, this milk is supplemented with milk from a nearby herd, although they aim to use only their own milk very soon.

The cheese is made using a traditional French method of slow lactic coagulation.  A tiny amount of French thistle rennet coagulant is used to create a fabulous texture: smooth and rich, mouth-filling, but never cloying or claggy. 

The cheese is matured for up to 21 days [above you say 3 to 4 weeks - perhaps change above to around 3 weeks ?] to develop the flavour. It's rind naturally develops beautiful wrinkles of blue and grey moulds as it ages, which adds to the flavour and character of the cheese.

The name comes from Sinodun Hill (pronounced ‘Sin-uh-din’) below which Yarrow and Norton's goats graze.  This is the formal name of South Oxfordshire’s Wittenham Clumps.  

Awards 

Sinodun Hill won Best New Cheese at the British Cheese Awards 2017.  It won Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards 2016 and a Silver Award at the British Artisan Cheese Awards 2016.

Pairing

Look for wines with a fresh acidity to pair with goats cheese - any white, red or rosé.  A young, fresh unoaked and lightly chilled wine will be a perfect partner for Sinodun Hill. Sauvignon Blanc is the obvious one, Fiona Beckett on her website Matching Food & Wine recommends wines from the Loire like Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. She also suggests trying other citrusy whites like Bacchus, or a crisp white Chablis or Pino Grigio.

The fresh flavours of Sinodun Hill pair well with German or Belgian beer.

And if you are looking for something soft - apple, citrus and floral flavours work well with goats cheese so try Sinodun Hill with fresh apple juice, elderflower cordial or traditional lemonade.