Kleinsthalhof dairy, the goat’s cheese kingdom and its king: Helmut Großgasteige
In the Aurina Valley, right in the middle of Alto Adige, an ex-carpenter discovers his love for goats and their treasure: the hay milk. Let’s put on a heavy coat, Kaataa is going to take you up into the mountains!
In 2006, a carpenter by the name of Helmut fell in love with the white Zillentaller goats in the Aurina Valley mountain in Sud Tirol. This sounds like the beginning of a fable, but it is an amazing reality and today we’d like to tell you all his history.
Helmut, in 2006, discovered his deep love for goats and decided to convert a cow’s stable, that was owned by his parents, into a dairy and breeding center for white goats of a native breed of the Austrian Alps.
“Helmut considers the goats, as the perfect ally of a cheese producer who lives in the Alps.”
Cows are big animals that need a huge quantity of forage and hay to survive. But, their most significant constraint is that they are heavy and huge, and in the steep meadows of the mountain it could be a problem. Conversely, goats were considered to be poor peoples’ animals. But, sometimes from poverty and need emerges a treasure: a perfect animal to be bred in the mountains with no problems and no difficulties. This is how Helmut considers the goats, as the perfect ally of a cheese producer who lives in the Alps.
Now, in his dairy named Kleinsthalhof, he has 60 goats that produce a scented milk that smells of the herbs, of the snow, of the sun, and of the ground of the amazing Aurina Valley. And you can taste it by eating his amazing cheeses. At an altitude of 1,225 meters, Helmut thickens the milk with the help of probiotics and rennet, then he lets the curd drain off for 24 hours and then a salted bath is the destiny of the young, tasty goat’s cheese, and, after five weeks in the cellars, here you have a wonderful goat’s cheese that taste of goodness, of nature, and the Alps!
“here you have a wonderful goat’s cheese that taste of goodness, of nature, and the Alps!”
Helmut’s dairy produces “Heidi”, a soft dough, raw organic milk cheese, and also Schnuki, a Camembert cheese with 45% fat milk. But don’t leave his dairy without tasting his fabulous goat’s cheese cream! If you feel guilty for eating all of this goodness, don’t worry, the goat’s cheese is very rich in calcium, selenium, zinc, iodine, and vitamins A and B. It’s healthy and tasty, do you need anything more? Yes! A glass of red wine!
There is also an important partnership between the Aurina Valleys’ different local producers and craftsmen that creates the “farmer and peasant pathway”, an interesting itinerary that has a stop in the Helmut’s Kleinsthalhof dairy. It takes one day and helps the visitor discover the valley, the church, the villages, the dairy, and the whole amazing area of this corner of Alpine Italy.
If you go there, don’t forget to take a tour in a characteristic carriage towed by horses; it’s tastier to eat goat’s cheese surrounded by a fairy tale background!