Anna and Anna from Landmark Creamery
Anna and Anna from Landmark Creamery

Anna Landmark (left) and Anna Thomas Bates (right)

As former sheep dairy farmers, we’re biased. We LOVE the rich, nutty taste of a cheese made from ewe’s milk.  And we’re particularly loving the way American made sheep milk cheeses are emerging as a powerhouse, giving many traditional European styles a run for their money!

Last month we started working with a new distributor through whom we can get some farm-to-table artisan cheeses that we might not be able to get ourselves otherwise.

Landmark Creamery is one of the new creameries in the case that is making us happy.  Based in Wisconsin, it’s owned by “the two Anna’s”—Anna Landmark and Anna Thomas Bates.  They met at a local potluck dinner for sustainable agriculture in 2012.

Anna Landmark was milking a couple of goats and a cow named Freckles.  Anna Thomas Bates was a local food writer. Over homemade Old Fashioneds, the two Anna’s plotted a partnership dreaming of creamy sheep milk and buttery pasture-grazed cow milk, carefully handcrafted into beautiful, delicious cheese.

Landmark Creamery's Pecora Nocciola

Landmark Creamery’s Pecora Nocciola

They’ve only been making cheese since 2013, but have made a big impression in the cheese world in a short time.  Anna Thomas Bates runs the business side and Anna Landmark is the licensed cheesemaker.

We have several of their cheeses, all of which are making us happy these days.

Anabasque: Inspired by Ossau-Iraty, the great French Basque sheep cheese and only available February through October. Cave-aged for a minimum of three months, it fruity and salty with a pleasantly sheep-y finish. It works with pretty much any wine. We often choose a fruity red wine, a dry hard cider or a buttery white wine.

Pecora Nocciola or “Nutty Ewe:” This award-winning hard sheep milk cheese is a perfect ode to the classic Pecorinos of Italy and is everything you want from an aged sheep cheese. It’s subtle and smooth with lots of big brown butter notes. This wonderful sheep’s milk cheese is ideal with a luscious red wine like Barolo or Zinfandel. We enjoy it with cured meats, roasted root vegetables, bourbon cocktails and quince paste, too! It’s also perfect for grating or shredding on pasta.

Tallgrass Reserve: One of Landmark’s first creations, this cheese is crafted with pasture-grazed milk.  The rind is rubbed with smoked paprika and olive oil and aged six weeks to three months.  The cave aging gives it an earthy counterpoint to its creamy, buttery paste.  Try pairing it with a fruity Beaujolais, wheat beer or bourbon.