In 1976, Beppino Occelli founded his dairy at the base of the Maritime Alps in the hilly region known as the Langhe in northern Italy. The alpine pastures there provided the local cows, goats and sheep with rich feed that produced incredible milk; the foundation on which Occelli’s cheeses were to be made – and still are today.
Known as formaggio ubriaco or ‘drunken cheese’ this specialty of Piedmont is aged in traditional wooden barrels containing the grape skins of Barolo wine. The marinade leaves a purple stain which gradually penetrates the rind of the cheese leaving a very distinctive wine barrel flavour. The wheels are then aged for a further two months in Langa marc and Barolo wine during which time the cheese develops a rich flavour, semi hard texture and lingering sweetness. The flavours of the cheese and grapes mingle together to create a flavour that is bitey, creamy, sweet, winey, buttery and sharp all at once.