In 2004, Joana Garcia was no longer satisfied with her profession as a lawyer and decided to turn her life around. It was her father, originally from Vimieiro, "a land of cheese makers", who gave her the idea: why not take advantage of the fact that Joana's brother was selling milk from 500 sheep to start... making cheese! Without any experience in the matter, Joana invested ten months of her life in getting her hands dirty and experimenting and throwing away a lot of milk and cheese, before achieving her goal: to differentiate herself and today make one of the best cheeses in the world.
"The secret of our sheep's cheeses lies essentially in the passion and respect for the product. It is extremely pure, without any additives. The raw material, raw sheep's milk, has to be of the highest quality and we use thistle, a vegetable coagulant.
Maturation is another fundamental element. The cheese maturation chambers have ideal humidity, ventilation, and temperature conditions, which try to replicate the ideal conditions in springtime."
It is this Portuguese knowledge, certified as artisanal, in respect to our ancestors, that has obtained yet another international recognition.
The 70-gram buttery sheep's cheese was awarded the gold category at the World Cheese Awards 2019, held in Bergamo, Italy. This 100% artisanal product was chosen in a blind tasting system, among 3804 cheeses from 42 countries on six continents, and was awarded the gold medal.