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History of Crottin de Chavignol

Sancerre small hamlet ‘Chavignol’ is the birth place of our famous goat cheese!

Diffrent maturing stages for our famous goat cheese.

'Chavignol'

In the Sancerre area, goat farming is a tradition which dates back to the 16th century. At that time, most farms which had vineyards also raised goats, often by the farmers wifes. These goats, also called the "poor man's cow"  brought milk and cheese every day, which represented an extra income.

At the end of the 19th century, phyloxera infestation forced the removal of the invected vines, providing plots of land perfectly suited for grazing. The goat milk production afterwards spread to the "Champagne Berrichonne', "Pays Fort", and "Val de Loire".

Around 1900, the first refiners set up their business, and thanks to the newly created railway line between Paris and Nevers, they could sell their cheese on the markets of Paris.

It's difficult to know exactly when the word "crottin de chavignol" appeared. It was first seen in 1829, when a tax and land inspector of the Cher departement, wrote in the column "goat": "their milk is not good to make butter, but from it, delicious cheese is made: in the Sancerrois region, it's known under the name of "Crottins de Chavignolles".

The origin of that name comes from the word "crot", used in the Berry area, for a small oil lamp (made from clay) the winemakers used to light their cellar, and the goatherds used to light their barn with at milking time.

The Crottin de Chavignol has been recognised as an appellation (AOP) since 1976.

 

 

 

Goats' flock

Picture

Goat's milk cheese packed in a strainer

'Chavignol' making

The Crottin de Chavignol is exclusively made with fresh and full-cream goat's milk. Covered with a natural rind, white or blue, the texture is firm and smooth with a white or ivory coulour. The 'Chavignol' goat cheese AOP must be aged for at least 10 days. It offers a large range of varying flavours depending on its maturation. Young, is has a light goat flavour with a slightly floral and perfectly balanced taste. A bit older, the Crottin de Chavignol is then covered with blue penicillium, and you will discover forest floor and mushroom aromas. Mature, the Chavignol reveals walnut and hazelnut flavours. Even more mature, and kept in stonware pots, the Chavignol called "repassé" will surprise you with its strength and its creamy texture.

Crottin de Chavignol before maturating

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