We will tell you about the meeting with Emanuela Perenzin and her sons, Erika and Matteo, to plan the presentation of the new format of San Pietro in Cera d’Api and of their cheeses refined with wine
⏱ 4 MINUTES READING
This article should have been written roughly a year ago: we were ready to tell you about a visit of our sales force at Perenzin Latteria, already scheduled in March 2020, but unfortunately the plans blew up and I am sure there is no need to explain why.
But we will try again now with a different aim: I will tell you about a “small” visit made with Martina and our photographer Beatrice. We hope to schedule soon a new visit with all our sales force, we are looking forward to it. We have two goals, to have a chat with Emanuela and her sons, Erika and Matteo, and to take photos for the cover and reportage of the tour.
I slow down for a moment, perhaps not everyone knows Emanuela, despite being a well-known face on the Veneto region and national dairy scene. You’ve seen her on the cover of course, but she deserves a presentation. She represents the fourth generation of Perenzin family; I told you there is a lot of history in this producer.
Emanuela’s great-grandfather, Domenico Perenzin, founded the dairy in 1898 together with his sons, including Angelo, who in 1933 led the dairy to win a prestigious international award in Brussels. A source of pride that still stands out on the family showcase today.
But he is not the only one because then Emanuela herself built a part of the family story together with her ex-husband Carlo, arriving in the company in the mid-80s. They immediately began to investigate first the world of organic production and then the world of goat cheeses, at that time almost unknown in Italy. We certainly cannot say that they weren’t pioneering by observing what happened in the following years: boom of goat cheeses, boom of organic products.
We won’t talk about it much here, but their range of fresh organic goats “Capre Felici” (Happy Goats) is very successful: robiola, primo sale, ricotta and caciottina. And the quality of what they produce is high, the awards arrive and the showcase is enriched.
Today there are the two sons in the business with Emanuela: Matteo takes care of the organization of the dairy and the aging, and Erika follows the marketing, the shop and the cheesebar. The fifth generation is walking.
When we arrive they tell us that Emanuela is busy with the make-up, an obligatory step when it comes to being the protagonist of a cover. But it is a matter of a few minutes that pass quickly, here she comes!
We drink a coffee all together, a few chats about the market moment and immediately we find the passion for the cheeses that has always distinguished her.
We are preparing to begin the visit of the dairy, we go down to the basement by stairs flanked by that showcase of prizes, relics and old work tools I mentioned earlier: a very respectable welcome that disposes very well the guest for the following tour.
I went down these stairs several times accompanying international clients and I know “the effect it makes”.
You can feel the importance of their family roots and take note of the level of their productions.
We enter the aging cellar, a little empty, as December and January are the months in which very little goat milk is processed. We look around and immediately understand that it will be here that we will take the cover photo. We see the cheeses covered with good moulds that are doing their job, the wheels of Montasio Dop and San Pietro.
We talk about the progressive size reduction started a year ago on several products: the 6 kg wheels are completely replaced by easier to manage ones, of around 2,5 kg.
This was done both to make production in the dairy more efficient, and to simplify the maintenance work of the product in the cellar, easier to turn over and undoubtedly quicker to bring to optimal maturation.
Smaller shapes also rotate faster on the counter, in the shop. Of course, we must be aware that the size of the wheel affects the evolution of the aromatic profile of the cheese: at this stage the 2 kg cheese tends to be a lot younger than the last large wheels of San Pietro in Cera d’Api and Capra al Traminer in particular. Especially because the last batches of 6 kg wheels were reserves that had exceptionally long maturations and that were set aside for Valsana.
We have recently started to sell small Capra al Traminer and we begin with San Pietro in Cera d’Api of the same size; now we have a discontinuity in maturation and this translate in more buttery sensations in the cheeses, greater sweetness and presence of delicate fruity notes, especially for the cheese refined with Traminer.
This is a discontinuity that we gladly accept, as we are dealing with artisanal productions, where the scarceness of the raw material is also linked to the respect for the lactation cycle of the goats. It seems to see in rewind the journey made 13/14 months ago with the first small wheels of Bufala al Glera when, after the first less aged batches, the product reached its optimal maturation within a couple of months.
The refinements with wine are done in the dairy and follow a strict respect for the basic aging of the cheese (at least 3 months), an immersion in warm marc and wine (Glera, Traminer, Cabernet and Merlot, depending on the case) and then a very important drying of a few days before vacuum packaging.
The San Pietro in Cera d’Api takes instead another way: it is a cow’s cheese aged at least 7/8 months that is covered with beeswax, as it was used in the past. This cover is made to preserve the inner moisture of the cheese and allow it to travel intact for a long time.
We return to the cellar for a moment, Emanuela and Beatrice have found the correct set and they take arond a hundred photos.
We continue the visit in the storage cell for the refined products, where the vacuum-packed cheeses rest, continuing to mature and absorbing the flavours of the characterizing ingredients. Here the stop is short, there are no “photogenic” situations.
We find them instead in the dairy, even if the processing is stopped because it is now late afternoon: it offers a nice dose of charm, the size is contained, but the organization and arrangement of the boilers and counters is well done, the perfect setting for a nice family photo.
The day is rainy, the colours are grey, but we do not lack the desire to chat so we share with Emanuela, Matteo and Erika the programming that will precede the release of this issue, while tasting some new cheeses together.
Erika tells us about the social evolutions they are carrying out, while with Matteo we talk about aging and about a thousand jobs to be completed, while Emanuela listens and observes the fifth generation who is learning to manage the business.
It is nice to be here in these moments and also to visit the Latteria Perenzin once again. You can make a nice trip even just 11 km from home.
Alessandro De Conto