Would you like to learn how to make cheese, or dive deeper into your cheesemaking? Professionals but also Cheese enthusiasts, we have courses for everyone!
We offer two types of hands-on cheesemaking courses: 1-day or 2 days relaxed home cheesemaking courses, and 5-day intensive professional cheesemaking courses.
The Cheese School
Our craft is cheesemaking, its culture and skills buried in the aeons of European history. But our home and terroir is central Victoria, Australia – Dja Dja Wurrung country. Djaara (Dja Dja Wurrung People) have lived on their traditional lands and cared for djandak (Country) over many thousands of years. We are privileged to be able to contribute in a small & temporary way to that care.
An organic cow’s milk cheesemaker in Castlemaine, determined to make great cheese. Set up by cheese tragics – Ivan & Julie Larcher, Alison Lansley – who share a vision to see Australia’s artisan cheese industry flourish.
Ivan Larcher - cheesemaker, teacher, entrepreneur, consultant
Would you like to learn how to make cheese, or dive deeper into your cheese making knowledge?
Professionals but also Cheese enthusiasts, we have courses for everyone!
An integrated approach – for an ambitious vision.
The 2 parts of the business are integrated. We train existing and prospective cheesemakers and small-scale dairy producers in The Cheese School, as well as use the cheese facility for more advanced training (eg in commercial-scale cheese production and ripening). We also demonstrate the equipment we have chosen to work with, the design of the cheese facility, and the way we run the business – ie a model that others can learn from and then go out and set up their own successful artisan dairy operations. We also plan to use our onsite retail outlet for cheesemonger training.
The cheeses and other dairy products we make and sell are high quality artisan dairy products, ripened to perfection, and beautifully presented. Again, we are keen for others to learn from us in all respects, and apply that learning to their own small-scale operations. In that way, we hope to see Australia’s artisan dairy industry grow and become much more sophisticated, but still with relatively small-scale and craft-based operations.
The cheese facility has capacity to process 4000 to 8000L of milk a week (initially a lot less) into both soft and hard cheese, together with ageing facilities, wrapping/packing room and finished goods storage, as well as rooms for raw materials, pasteurising, washing etc. The Cheese School includes a small demonstration dairy room that is used for both training and small-scale dairy production purposes.
The cheese facility and training centre have been purpose-built within 2 existing leased buildings at The Mill Castlemaine, an old woollen mill which has been repurposed as a vibrant mix of creative small-scale producers and sellers of artisan food & drink, and furniture, art & bric-a-brac.
The Mill is very well-supported by locals, as well as becoming a significant tourist attraction. For this reason, we have set up our own retail outlet where we sell our products and from where we run our sales operation, eventually including a cheese club, online sales etc.
We frequently collaborate with other food and beverage producers at The Mill, and those in other parts of central Victoria, including running small-scale events and joint product offerings. We are also embedded in and committed to the communities of Castlemaine and central Victoria, including employing local staff and as sponsors and patrons of the Castlemaine State Festival, the Castlemaine Art Gallery and The Theatre Royal, as well as members of Business Mt Alexander and Food Fossickers.
We provide two distinct hands-on cheesemaking courses: a choice between a 1-day or 2-day relaxed home cheesemaking course, and a range of 5-day intensive professional cheesemaking courses.