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For the rest of the month of January, Contributing Editor Matt Rodbard will be filing reports from Australia. You can also follow along via Twitter (@FoodRepublic), on Instagram and on our Facebook page.

An hour outside of Melbourne the landscape starts to transition from concrete to clay and sandstone as I enter the Yarra Valley—a wine region featuring over 120 producers and cellar doors (local parlance for “tasting rooms”). My first trip to the region led me to Yerring Station, Domaine de Chandon and the remarkable bakery/coffee roaster/restaurant/winery Giant Steps.

I’ll spill more about those places later, but right now I have cheese on the mind, specifically the world-class soft cheeses being produced “farmhouse style” at Yarra Valley Dairy. You may be familiar with the products, sold at Whole Foods and specialty stores across the United States like Murray’s, Andronico or Cowgirl Creamery. I was given a tour by Yarra Valley Dairy General Manager Ben Mooney and Senior Cheesemaker Jack Holman.