In the heart of the Val d’Orcia, immersed in a fairytale landscape, Caseificio Cugusi embodies an authentic family tradition, giving life to an award-winning excellence appreciated all over the world: Pecorino di Pienza.
Surrounded by farmhouses and sweet hills, the Cugusi Dairy is located in one of the most evocative areas of Tuscany: the romantic Sienese countryside that borders the Val di Chiana. An area that offers magnificent views and meadows rich in fragrant herbs, such as wormwood, meadow goat’s-beard and horehound that give the milk its unique notes.
Here, among these enchanted valleys, the story of the Cugusi family begins at the end of the 1960s. A surname that speaks of the sun of the South and, in particular, of Sardinia, the family’s homeland.
Our commitment takes shape every day. We carry on a family tradition with the same passion that our father had for things done well.(Silvana Cugusi)
After the Second World War, Raffaele, an agronomist with a clear and courageous entrepreneurial vision, decided to move to these areas bringing with him his wife Maria, his mother Antonia, nine children, 300 Sardinian sheep, and an important dairy tradition. In a countryside that was becoming depopulated at the time, he found a plot of land with ten uninhabited farmhouses, and here, with a lot of work, he built his dream: a house for each of his children and a dairy where to give life to products of real excellence.
Today the Cugusi dairy is masterfully managed by his daughter Silvana, flanked in particular by the sister Giovanna, her husband Paolo, the head dairyman, as well as by the other brothers, all committed to preserving the high standard of their impeccable products. From grazing to milking, from processing to maturing, all processes are managed internally, scrupulously following tradition, with absolute love and dedication. Passionate about beauty, Silvana perfectly embodies the soul of her products, which she explains with the open heart and the beautiful energy of those people who know very well the value of what they do.
The shop, furnished with rustic furniture and old milk containers, offers all the best of their production: from fresh pecorino, white, soft and delicious, to the Classico of Pienza, which owes the typical red color of the skin to the treatment with tomato paste, up to the Gran Riserva, that has won multiple awards at the World Cheese Awards thanks to its intense flavor and the scent of herbs and chestnuts. To mention also the spiced pecorino cheeses, with various types of pepper, chilli or truffles and those aged in the typical terracotta jars, under the ashes or under the walnut leaves, as well as the sweet fresh ricotta and many more varieties.
A true paradise for lovers of cheese and typical products of the area, such as oil, honey, jams, paté and, of course, a selection of excellent wines that can be purchased in the shop. For those wishing to approach the world of dairy techniques, Cugusi also offers a dedicated school. It consists of 40 hours of online lessons that end with an experiential weekend to be enjoyed at the dairy, perhaps choosing to stay in one of the 5 rooms of the family B&B, built right on the farm where Raffaele and Maria once lived.
During the year, it is possible to book a tasting in the panoramic room with a view of the suggestive Temple of San Biagio to taste 5 types of pecorino and ricotta, paired with honey, jams and Rosso di Montepulciano.
During the summer or on warm autumn days, don’t miss the outdoor tasting with picnic formula. In fact, the Cugusi dairy offers the possibility to pack a delicious basket with your favorite products, to be consumed in the beautiful panoramic area whilst enjoying the authentic spectacle of the surrounding landscape.
Like all the best recipes, the Cugusi’s cheeses also have their “secret” ingredient, learned from father Raffaele and handed down to his children. Some say it is the milking at dawn, which gives the milk a particular flavour, others the strictly hand-made work. However, perfect alchemy is never just a matter of methods or ingredients, yet of an authentic passion that has led to a contamination between cultures and territories to gives life to a unique product in the world.
Tasting of 5/6 types of pecorino cheese and ricotta: 18 euros per person (wine included)
Picnic basket: between 15 and 30 euros based on the selected products (wine included)