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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Wegmans creates ‘caves’ to age cheeses

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wegmansSome of the cheeses sold at the Wegmans grocery store in Fredericksburg will be ripened in a new facility that the grocer believes is the first of its kind among supermarket chains in America.

Wegmans on Monday began operating “Cheese Caves” inside a 12,300-square-foot, high-tech building in Rochester, N.Y., where the company is headquartered. The facility includes a Brie room and seven caves that are each between about 185 and 200 square feet.

Only one type of cheese will be aged at a time in each cave, which have separate temperature and humidity settings as well as backup generator power.

The caves are designed to mimic “famed cheese caves in Europe where many of the world’s most-prized cheeses are ripened to reach their richest flavor,” Wegmans said in an announcement that called the process a “game-changer in how artisanal cheeses in this country are finished and distributed for sale.”

Only some of the cheeses sold at Wegmans — including washed-rind and soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert — will be aged in the caves. Hard cheeses are aged before shipping to the U.S.

Cheeses that comes from the caves will be labeled as “cage-aged.”

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2014/04/09/wegmans-creates-caves-to-age-cheeses/

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