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Goats are back – what a cheese!

I was on my way along the fascinating Pusteria Valley, when I stopped at Capriz, a well-known cheese factory in Vandoies.

What’s new? - would you say. The novelty lies in the main ingredient of the cheese: goat milk!

Goat and sheep farming was in the past fairly common in South Tyrol, but then was gradually dropped out in favour of cow rearing. In the last years, we see a change of direction and these likeable and tough animals are starting to populate our grazing lands again.

This is what Capriz is doing since 2013: retrieving old habits to bring a new product in the local market. Did you know? The name Capriz hints at capra (goat in Italian), Ziege (goat in German) and caprice.

The creamery is contemporary yet near to our traditional style, innovative and well designed. The first thing I noticed as I stepped out of my car was something I would not have expected: a pungent aroma of hay and fur, the one you can smell in mountain farms! That brought me suddenly in a genuine and rural mood, in line with the idea of fusion between tradition and innovation that permeates today’s South Tyrolean way of life. In fact, the Capriz milk comes from small pastures at high altitude (over 800 meters).

Right from the main door an unusual and funny art installation introduced me to a sensory path that covers the whole building. Watch the video!

Video by Tommaso Rossi

In the inside, wide glass walls visually connect the production plant to the bistro and the shop: you can watch at dairymen working while you taste, drink or shop. Amazing! The ambiance is elegant and appealing, while minimalist design highlights the products.

Downstairs, the ripening rooms are in full sight and a small museum is available for the guests.

Did you know? Here the Master dairyman is called Frommelier, a crasis of the words fromage (cheese in French) and sommelier (expert wine taster). Nice idea!

I had the chance to taste numerous cheese varieties. I have to confess that I normally do not eat goat’s milk cheese, because of the strong and peculiar savour. Believe me or not, this time I really enjoyed every single sample! I preferred the fresh ones, with short maturation. I like the velvety and melting texture, the unmistakable aromas and the large possibilities of wine pairing.

My favourite? The Hofer’s Alptraum, that ripens with French cognac and South Tyrolean Schüttelbrot.

I believe I will come back soon, since I am curious about the seasonal special editions and I would like to buy some Christmas gifts.

Would you like to come with me during your next visit? I am sure I could organize a full taste-and-shop experience that you will not forget soon.

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