MANCHESTER, VT--Folks traveling north are finding a new and delicious way to enjoy the gorgeous scenery: the Vermont cheese trail. "It’s the equivalent of the Napa Valley. So, we’re the Napa Valley of cheese," says Seth Bongartz, president of Hildene Farm in Manchester. "It’s one of these niche agricultural enterprises that’s really taken off in Vermont."
Visitors can stroll through the Rowland Agricultural Center at Hildene Farm and watch the cheese-making process. First, the Nubian goats are milked. Folks can see the milk enter glass tanks, the first step of the pasteurization process. Then, they witness ladling, waxing, cutting, wrapping and cave work.
Cheese-makers at Hildene, the start of the trail, serve their specialties to visitors: a fresh chevre and an aged tomme. "I want them to be able to explore further," says farm manager Peggy Galloup. "There are some great cheese makers along the trail and I want them to be open to trying other cheeses."
Hildene was the summer home of Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham, and president of the Pullman Company in the early 1900s. A train car on display near the Lincoln family home features authentic pictures and furniture.
Hildene's mission: values into action. "Our key action being civic responsibility, all of which comes straight from Lincoln," says Bongartz. "So, sort of doing the right thing, socially, environmentally, is what this place is really about. "
Click here to learn more about Hildene Farm.