Planning for an April trip to Walla Walla, Washington, began back in the middle of January. In my quick research of the area, there was one spot in particular that stood out for a visit if we could swing it - Monteillet Fromagerie in Dayton, 28 miles northeast of Walla Walla. Rather than fly directly into Walla Walla’s regional airport, we flew to Sea-Tac and drove the four hours to Walla Walla. With Monteillet Fromagerie on my radar, we managed to take off early enough on Saturday morning to find ourselves at the farm/fromagerie just before the doors opened. As we stretched our legs from the long car ride and took in the sights and scents of goats and sheep on a farm, Joan Monteillet came down the same gravel road we’d taken in on her bicycle. Without hesitation, she welcomed us into the shop.
While there weren’t any cheeses for the tasting that day because they were all works in progress, we still spent some time at Monteillet Fromagerie with Joan. She shared with us how the fromagerie came to be. Like any great story, it all began with a love story. You can read more of the Monteillets’ story: here. We also learned about the trials and tribulations of being the first artisan farmstead cheesemaker in Walla Walla Valley, as well as the challenges of raising goats and sheep among all the wheat fields.
In addition to making cheese and running a farm, Monteillet Fromagerie offers cheesemaking workshops, farm stays and farm-to-table dinners. All of these take aim straight for my heart, and I hope to one day revisit to partake in these other offerings (as well as taste some cheese!). Even though we had entered the world of Monteillet Fromagerie as strangers, we certainly felt like friends on our way out an hour later.
During our visit, Monteillet Fromagerie was working on opening Baa Baa Cheese Tasting Bar, its new cheese and wine tasting room inside of Whoopem Up Cafe in Walla Walla. Funny thing is if we had postponed our trip for another week, we would have had to make an appointment to visit the farm. It likely would not have been the same experience.
Visit Baa Baa Cheese Tasting Bar
East 13 Main Street,
Walla Walla (inside the new Whoopem Up Cafe)
More info: website