Blue Cheese

These cheeses range between hard and soft, mild and strong, but always have distinct blue or green veins running through them. The veins are a type of penicillin and are usually introduced by hand into the interior of the cheese with the use of a metal spike.
115 - Dorset Blue Vinny

Dorset Blue Vinny

From the only producers of genuine Dorset Blue Vinny; savoury, crumbly and made with hand skimmed milk.

Dorset Blue Vinny is a cheese of some antiquity and used to be made by every farmhouse in Dorset as a way of using the left-over milk. In the 18th and 19th centuries the cheese was made from residual milk left after cream had been removed for sale or for butter making. Blue Vinny was produced as a quality alternative to the ubiquitous
cheddar and also to provide an extra income from the skimmed cream used to make butter. The name Vinny derives from the old English "vinew" or "finew" meaning mouldy.

Skimmed unpasteurised milk is still used today and Dorset Blue Vinny is now only made in one place, on Woodbridge Farm, near Sturminster Newton. The farm is run by Richard Davies, whose family have lived and farmed there for over 40 years and make the cheese from the milk of their own herd of 270 friesian cows. Granted PGI status in 1998,Blue Vinny must be produced, processed and prepared in Dorset and must be made from unpasteurised, skimmed milk from cows grazed in the Blackmore Vale.

Dorset itself as a region, provides one of the earliest indications of cheese manufacture in Great Britain. Impressions of baskets (used for separation of whey) have been found at
Windmill Hill in Dorset. Dated 1800BC, these indicated that cheese may have been made there well before Roman times.

To make the cheese, milk is collected from local farms adjacent to the cheese making dairy. The milk is skimmed to give a milk fat of approximately 3%. At certain times of the year it is necessary to add skim milk powder to reach the required fat level. Starter culture and rennet are added as milk is filled into a vat. When the junket has reached the desired consistency it is cut with vertical and horizontal knives and heated. While heating takes place the junket is stirred to float the curd in the whey. The curds and whey are kept constantly warm overnight. The following morning the whey is drained, the curds are allowed to compact and are then cut into blocks. The blocks are piled double and turned every 20-30 minutes to release whey until the correct acidity levels are reached. The curd is broken up by hand, salted, filled into moulds and lightly pressed for 4 hours then turned. Four days later the moulds are knocked out and the sides of the cheese rubbed down to allow the mould coat to develop. It is then matured under temperature and humidity controlled conditions and turned daily. At four weeks the cheeses are pierced repeatedly from side to side to break up the curd, to allow air to enter the cheese and activate the mould present in the curd which produces the characteristic blue veining. The cheese is turned daily and left to ripen for a further 12 to 20 weeks.

In the past, methods such as dragging mouldy horse harnesses thorugh the milk were employed to encourage the blue mould to grow. Such methods are no longer used today, instead stainless steel spikes are inserted after a month's maturation as describved above. Some cheeses require a second spiking and some require none at all. This is all part of the unpredictable nature of the cheese and the appearance and flavour will vary according to the time of year, the weather and literally the day of the week.

Dorset Blue Vinny has a strong spicy flavour from the blueing with a texture that tends to crumble.

Pair with a something sweeter such as Paxton & Whitfields Monbazillac, a delicious dessert wine from vineyards overlooking the Dordogne.

Unpasteurised PLU: 115
per cheese

Key Facts

  • Country Made In England
  • Type of Milk Cow
  • Pasteurisation Unpasteurised
  • Vegetarian Yes
  • Region Dorset
  • Organic No
  • Flavour Savoury and tangy
  • Accreditation None
  • Weight 6 kg

Store & Serve

Individual cheeses will carry their own Best Before/Use By Date, we endeavour to give a minimum of 7 days from the date the order is despatched

  • StorageKeep refrigerated.
  • Instructions for useServe at room temperature.
  • Recommended DrinkMerlot


  • IngredientsCows' Milk, Salt, Rennet, Dairy Cultures (Milk)
  • AllergensMilk
  • Nutritional Information
  • Typical Valuesper 100g
  • Energy kJ1500 kJ
  • Energy kcal361 kcal
  • Fat28.43 g
  •      of which saturates 17.71 g
  • Carbohydrates<0.50 g
  •      of which sugars 1.74 g
  • Protein25.75 g
  • Salt1.67 g

  • Name & address of food supplierPaxton & Whitfield Ltd, 93 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6JE

These summary details have been prepared for information purposes only. While we have taken care in preparing this summary and believe it is accurate, it is not a substitute for reading the product packaging and label prior to use. Paxton & Whitfield is unable to accept liability for any incorrect information. If you require specific advice, please contact our mail order team on 01451 823460 or email

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