It feels like Christmas all over again as my cheese-loving heart is full with the knowledge that Atalanta has rolled out several new products. The importer has announced the launch of Snowdonia Cheese Company’s first-ever vintage cave-aged Cheddar, Rock Star Cheddar, along with a new line cave-aged Manchego from exclusive supplier Alimentias.
“It’s a real labor of love to mature a cheese deep underground in such a remote setting, and for us, it’s worth it,” said Richard Newton-Jones, Commercial Director at Snowdonia Cheese Company. “The flavor is stunning, and the setting is incredible—it’s a real honor to work with the natural landscape in this way, surrounded by the majestic beauty of Snowdonia.”
The debut of Rock Star Cheddar will add to Snowdonia’s range of award-winning, contemporary cheeses that are crafted using Welsh traditions, as noted in a release. Snowdonia partners exclusively with Atalanta to bring these flavorful cheeses from North Wales to the United States market for cheese lovers across the nation to partake in.
Snowdonia was formed by a family of third generation dairy farmers and uses local natural resources to produce its premium lineup of cheese. Upon discovering a former slate mine 500 feet deep in Snowdonia National Park, a protected Dark Sky Reserve, the company realized it would be the perfect place for aging this new rich Cheddar.
Research noted by Atalanta shows that 82 percent of consumers love Cheddar, making it one of the most loved foods in the U.S. There has also been an increase in searches for cave-aged and vintage cheese since 2020, spotlighting growing consumer interest in the category.
To meet this demand, Rock Star Cheddar undergoes 18 months in the sealed slate chambers, giving the cheese depth of flavor, including a savory tang and a caramel finish. The texture is smooth and dense, with intermittent bursts of crunchy crystals—a highly desirable characteristic of cave-aged cheeses.
Rock Star Cheddar will be available in U.S. markets at retail in exact weight 5.3 oz.
Joining Rock Star Cheddar is Atalanta’s new line of cave-aged Manchego from Alimentias. Also inspired by historic methods, the Manchego is produced and cured in wine cellars and caves in a unique facility in Southern Spain. The cheeses are matured for 4-, 6-, and 10-month periods, creating the flavorful Manchego.
Bringing together tradition and technology, this innovative cave aging facility allows artisans to control temperature, humidity, and air quality to reflect the conditions of La Mancha. The DOP Manchego Cheese is produced using traditional techniques with high-quality milk from the Manchega breed of sheep before being transported to the caves to undergo the aging process. Oak barrels and greenhouse herbs including lavender and thyme infuse the atmosphere as the cheeses age, resulting in subtle yet noticeable notes of flavor.
Each of the cheese’s profiles directly results from time spent maturing in the caves. Don Juan’s 4 Month Manchego is fresh with a slight herbal aroma; the 6 Month is balanced, dryer, and has subtle herbal notes; and the 10 Month is intense, reminiscent of Armagnac, with consistent herbal notes. All three varieties have a natural rind with an ashy appearance caused by fatty acids on the surface.
Well, I know where I will be after work—loading up on these mouth-watering new cheeses, and I’m sure your shoppers wouldn’t mind joining me!