Vintage Goodies from Godminster

PUBLISHED: 10:32 04 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:51 20 February 2013

Vintage Goodies from Godminster

Vintage Goodies from Godminster

Sarah Ford visits the Bruton-based Godminster Vintage, where tradition and enterprise go hand in hand

Sarah Ford visits the Bruton-based Godminster Vintage, where tradition and enterprise go hand in hand

Godminster Vintages mantra is a simple one nature repays those who treat her kindly. So when the time came for expansion at the organic cheese makers in Bruton, the primary concern was, naturally, to protect the environment.

Owner Richard Hollingbery was keen to develop the soft cheese side of the business that was rescued from another local producer a year ago but not at the expense of the planet.

"It seemed a natural way forward to utilise our existing premises and bring the workforce together," he explains.

"By producing the cheese alongside the distribution point we significantly reduce the miles the cheese travels and remain loyal to our philosophy."

He says he is delighted with the new facility, which includes a new warehouse and drive-in refrigeration unit.

There have been people living and working the land at Godminster for over five centuries. Records show there has been a dairy farm here for over 100 years and during the Second World War its milk would be sent to London on the train from Bruton.

When Richard took over in 1993, he began rebuilding the derelict Listed cottage into a home where he now lives with his wife and three children.

Although he did not come from a farming family his father was the chairman of electrical giant Comet, begun by Richards grandfather in 1933 Richard has always been fascinated by agriculture, working on farms in his home county of East Yorkshire since he was just 14 years old.

He has a degree in agriculture and land management, as well as one in geology and geography and has been keen to create a self-sustaining environment at Godminster where nature can flourish. Numerous natural habitats have been created and restored and native species reintroduced.

"We have tried to create wildlife corridor spines all around the farm," says Richard.

"We have planted 25,000 broadleaf trees, replanted nearly all the hedges and dug about 15 ponds.

"The habitats foster a wealth of life and one thing we have really noticed is that there are more flocks rather than just single birds around. We see many more sparrows, long-tailed tits and skylarks as well. We are looking forward to having a new eco survey done so we can compare the results with when we first arrived."

Godminster Farm became organic in 1999 and today there are 190 cows producing 1.2 million litres of milk a year. Cheese-making began here in 2000 and today Godminster is known for its award-winning range of Vintage Organic Cheddar, made from a unique 70-year-old-recipe. It is instantly recognisable by its distinctive purple wax coating and beautiful heart and round shapes.

To celebrate Godminsters 10th anniversary, a limited edition, traditional farmhouse Cheddar has been made, using milk from the farm in partnership with Greens of Glastonbury.

Made in March 2010, the handmade traditional vintage Cheddar truckles, which weigh two kilos each, are un-waxed, hand-wrapped in cheesecloth and packaged in an earthy, brown gift box, which reflects the organic milk that is at the heart of the Cheddar. Using artisan skills, the limited edition cheddars were matured on racks for nine months and the characteristics are rich, full-bodied and long on the finish with a nutty and savoury bite.

With ingredients grown on the farm, Godminster also produces a range of other products such as water biscuits made with Godminsters own rosemary, and digestives made from their oats. And English vodka, which comes from a London distillery, is infused over time with real roots and fruits from the farm, giving them a depth of flavour.

Richard is always dreaming up new infusions and on these cold winter nights, the Godminster blog suggests trying out a recipe for Godminster Bumpkins Bloodytini. Made with horseradish vodka and cherry tomatoes, the drink is bound to warm your cockles!

To find out more about Godminster and to buy cheese, drinks and gift packs, go to

Latest from the Somerset Life