Cheese-makers join forces to promote Teifi taste trail

IT’S an area better known for its history of coracle fishing.

But a group of award-winning food producers have joined forces to promote a lush region of Wales as a centre of excellence for artisan cheese-making.

Teifi Valley Cheese Producers hope to make the valley, which meets the sea at Cardigan, synonymous with world-class cheese in the same way that the Loire valley in western France is linked with fine wine the world over.

Each of the five cheese producers are described as masters in their field, having reaped numerous awards at national and international level, including accolades at the International Cheese Awards, Great Taste Awards and the Welsh True Taste Food and Drink Awards.

And by forming the group, they hope it will help attract more “foodies” to the Teifi valley, increase sales of Welsh cheese and lead to tasting tours and twinning possibilities with the popular wine-making region of France.

The producers are Caws Cenarth, Teifi Farmhouse Cheese, Carmarthenshire Cheese Company, Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar and Sanclêr Organic.

Peter Austin, Ceredigion’s tourism development officer, said: “We know that food tourism is high on the agenda across the UK and Europe.

“And when we realised that we had such a number of high quality cheese-makers in one area of Wales, we wanted to celebrate the fact.

“The idea is that consumers can pick up their favourite Teifi valley cheese at a local retailer or restaurant and then pay a visit to the source to see where it was made.

“Caws Cenarth and Teifi Farmhouse Cheese already have cheese shops on site and guided cheese-making and tasting tours can be provided, in a similar way to wine tours.

“The cheese group is in its infancy, but there is a lot of potential to match up each cheese with certain wine and different beverages.”

The river Teifi is already well known as a tourist destination, especially among anglers and walkers. But it hardly has the pull of the Loire valley, despite both being picturesque and running through rural and historic areas.