Domaine Les Pallières enjoys a distinctive location: the estate’s vineyards nestle amid 110 hectares (272 acres) of Provençal forest, which is itself set in the heart of the Dentelles de Montmirail, a vast range of hills covered in pine, oak and garrigue scrubland.
Only goats are suited to maintaining this natural space on the steep slopes of the Dentelles. And the Rove is definitely the breed of goat that excels on these slopes and in a Mediterranean climate – being small and agile, with a small udder.
We therefore decided to set up a goat farm at Pallières in 2012, with the aim of involving the flock in the life of the place.
We chose to work with a Rove goat breeder based in the mountains of eastern Vaucluse, and reserved 10 small nanny goats. The cheesery was then built, the Rove de Pallières was created – a 90g (3.2oz) ball, hand shaped without using a mould –, and it was decided to make only natural cheeses, with no added flavourings, given the very strong personality of the milk, imparted by the goats’ long daily roams in the mountains.