Cheeses to explore near Bordeaux, Cahor, Toulouse?

Started by heather s, May 14, 2012, 05:16:14 PM

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heather s


I've been searching and searching for leads for an opportunity to go to France and volunteer to make goats milk cheeses for a week or two, before we move from England to Canada. I think I've found a place (I joined WWOOF France and basically emailed everyone who makes cheese!).

I'll be helping out at a small cheese dairy (50 goats), near Bergerac (south of). At this point I don't know what type of cheese they actually make - other than it's made from goats milk! I'm sure I'll learn lots either way, and taste and enjoy whatever it is :-) And I'll get experience working directly with goats (which is wonderful as I love goats and plan to have my own soon).

Anyway, I'd love some advice and insight on cheeses of this region? My partner will come over and we'll spend 4-5 days travelling around afterwards and so - recommendations on where to go to see and taste great cheese would be most appreciated - as would recommendations on where to see cheese being made. Are there well known cheeses in this region? I think Roquefort isn't so far..? I just heard of a cheese called Tome de Bordeaux that's aged in caves in Bordeaux (by Jean d'Alos) so perhaps we could check that out - would anyone recommend? We could travel a reasonable distance for cheese - we'll have a car about 4-5 days before flying back out of Bergerac.

Any and all advice, tips, info and suggestions very much appreciated. Thank you!

P.S. The time of my visit is .. soon (a couple of weeks from now :-)

Frotte La Tomme

Sadly, you will not be going to goat country.  This part of france is known for the sheep herds and ducks.  Bergerac for its sweet wine that pairs with foie gras.  In the dept of Lot, you can find the Cabécou which is lactic goat.  I would definatley recommend 2 weeks than one when woofing.  May be worth going to the pyrenees.  They have an exceptional goat race.

heather s

Thanks for this. I received in the post today the 'Cheese of France' book so have been combing this and will take it with me. I suspect we'll either head to Lot to hunt down Cabécou or to the Pyrenees. If you would know of any places or people to visit in either of these places it would be wonderful.

Thankfully the people I am helping with make a couple different lactic cheeses from goats milk (and this is what I'm most interested in) as well as a couple of tommes.

I arrive a week from Thursday for 2 weeks. :-)

Best wishes


It seems to me that the most production of goat cheese is the Loire valley. Mostly lactic stuff (Crottin, SainteMaure, Valençay, Pouligny St Pierre, etc.). The Pyrenees is more of a hearty, full-rennet, harder drier cheese (a generalization).  If you want something really interesting, try Chevrotin making in the Haute-Savoie. It's basically a Reblochon made from raw goat's milk and is made by the same makers.

I love Cabécou too! In many places in France it is sold under the name Rocammadour, which is the AOC designation of it.


IMHO, the western part, such as the are from Poitiers to Nantes, has some hardcore, small-scale producers, but they are out there, and their technologies are nowhere near the level of sophistication of the Loire producers. But in the west, there are some real gems, such as native breeds such as the Poitevine. It's harder to make contact because it's out in the boondocks in relative terms, but could make for some interesting cheese experiences.