Sheep's Cheeses and Spirits

13/10/20 09:36 AM Comment(s) By FIAL

Grandvewe Cheeses & Hartshorn Distillery | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2020


Repurposing waste to make new and interesting products is in the Grandvewe Cheeses DNA, with a focus on crafting innovative products that are both socially and environmentally conscious at the heart of the operation’s mission statement.

When the business grew to incorporate Hartshorn Distillery five years ago, that viewpoint was further solidified. Hartshorn’s small batch vodka, gin and whiskey products are derived from sheep’s whey — a by-product of the cheesemaking process usually relegated to the rubbish bin or at best fed back to the animals.


While popular opinion said it couldn’t be done, it’s the Grandvewe way to find value and give new life to spent ingredients and otherwise unwanted produce. One of the company’s first products was developed while looking for a use for marc, the skins and seeds left over from pressing in winemaking. Grandvewe Pinot Paste incorporates its own pinot marc combined with local apple seconds that wouldn’t ordinarily make it to market. A great accompaniment to the sheep’s cheese range, the product continues to fly off the shelves today.

That same determination drove head distiller Ryan Hartshorn to find a way to convert sheep’s whey to saleable goods. It took a little experimentation and involved breaking down complex sugars into component parts to achieve fermentation, but the upshot is a range of sippable award-winning spirits that are the very essence of Grandvewe.

The latest foray is sustainable packaging, including the first use of fully home-compostable cryovac material for cheeses and 100% felted sheep’s wool insulated product to replace traditional styrofoam for online orders. Both products were sourced from the desktop research Grandvewe CEO Diane Rae constantly conducts in the search for more ecologically sound options.


The process turns full circle at Grandvewe and products find a second life, like the native Australian botanicals that flavour Hartshorn Gin being used as a coating for its Herbalist Gin cheese. That commitment to repurposing ensures components that other producers see as waste or prime for feedlot live to sing again as part of an exciting and innovative product range.

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