Willamette Valley Cheese Trail

Travel Oregon, Summer 2014

A herd of tawny goats ripples across a lush green pasture in front of me, smooth and steady, like brush strokes at the start of a painting. I lean into a wooden fence, squinting to get a closer look at the 38 ladies, a mix of alpine and LaMancha goats, frisking about a five-acre farm in Molalla, Oregon.

To my left I hear a lyrical call: “Biquette…biquette.” This is Carine Goldin, French native and owner of Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese, calling out to her cheese-making herd. Her lilting call, which means both “little goat and sweetheart,” sings out over the blue sky and countryside. But it’s midday, and the goats know it’s not yet dinnertime, so they continue to dally in the tall summer grass.

When I discovered that many of the small-scale dairies and creameries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley welcome visitors by appointment, I knew a cheese-inspired road trip was in order. My journey will take me from Portland as far south as the town of Lowell with an overnight in Eugene. My first stop, Goldin Artisan, is a tiny operation located off a bucolic road at Goldin’s home.

Walking around the farm, she introduces me to the baby goats, which are all between four and six weeks old. Bright-eyed and eager to be touched, the goats bleat and nuzzle their soft noses into my hands. “They love people,” says Goldin. “They are curious, smart,” and “they can get out of anything,” she adds.
Read the full article here: traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/itineraries/willamette-valley-cheese-trail.