Van Gaalen Cheese Farm (Skeerpoort)
Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij
Overview of Van Gaalen Cheese Farm
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm is situated in Skeerpoort, a small village nestled at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains, where visitors has the opportunity of experiencing and witnessing the age old Dutch method of making 'Boerenkaas'.
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm features a delightful restaurant and full function facilities for weddings, family outings, corporate functions and team building. Visitors also have the opportunity of having a relaxing picnic on the banks of the Skeerpoort river which flows through the farm.
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm also features a Farm Shop, where visitors can purchase delicious cheeses, wine, preserves, souvenirs and a wide selection of Dutch favorites. More than 30 different types of cheeses are produced at the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm, and sold exclusively in the Farm Shop. Cheeses include Gouda in different stages of maturety, cumin or 'Leidse kaas', stinging nettle cheese, garlic and onion cheese, pepper cheese, feta, herb feta, cheese spread, nut cheese, and Italian herb cheese, to name a few.
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm is also a firm favorite for off-road biking events (trail riding), with events being hosted regularly.
Van Gaalen Cheese Farm guided tours
An educational tour around the Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij provides visitors with an interesting and educational experience, and combines a demonstration of the cheese making process with a tasting of special Dutch cheeses.
The guided tour takes place every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 10h00, and last about an hour and a half. The tour includes cheese tasting, coffee or juice, and a slice of Dutch apple cake.
Magaliesberg Trails in Skeerpoort have been developed by Erik Schipper, and are a haven for sports such as for horse riding, hiking, birding, mountain biking and trail running. The trails are about 100km in length and stretches over 30 private properties.
Interested visitors can sign an indemnity form at the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm restaurant.
Review of Van Gaalen Cheese Farm
Our visit to Van Gaalen Cheese Farm was quite something else. Not really knowing what to expect, we arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed early in order to be on time for the Cheese Tour. Unfortunately, more than 200 mountain bikers also had the same idea of arriving early. Luckily, there were ample parking available, and apart from the inherent noise levels of having so many excited mountain bikers around, they did not bother us much.
Although I do think that the Van Gaalen Cheese Making Tour is a bit overpriced, it was fairly interesting enough to make up for the cost. Our tour guide, a very knowledgeable ex-teacher, gave us a run through of the cheese making process, by showing us the different ingredients, and mixing it together. We were able to see the cheese making process first hand, as well as touch and smell the products of the different phases.
We got to taste various different cheeses, which was a good idea, as the same (and more) cheeses are sold in the Farm Shop, so you have an idea of what you are buying.
The tour ended with some coffee and a delicious slice of Dutch apple cake. If you ask nicely, they might even give you the recipe :)
The Farm Shop is nicely laid-out and decorated, and the cheeses on sale are reasonably priced and absolutely scrumptious.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer amount of mountain bikers around, we did not have the opportunity to explore the lush green lawns, but from afar it looked like a perfect spot for a picnic.
To sum up, I still feel that the Cheese Making Tour is a bit overpriced, but, if you've got some money laying around, you will not regret a visit to the Van Gaalen Cheese Farm and Factory.