The cheese factory

A farmhouse cheese

A farmhouse cheese is made on the same farm where the milk is collected and only from the animals raised on that farm. Finca Fuentillezjos is part of Machegan land and culture and within this land we can find the cheese factory. So, as our cheeses are farmhouse cheeses, they are different and unique depending on the time of year.

The cheese that we elaborate defines us, the sheep, the land, the landscape … in short, our work.

Furthermore, elaborating our cheese exclusively with the milk of the fuenti-sheep makes it possible for us to not use any additives in the cheese itself or in the crust, making the crust edible. So if you like it you can eat it. The only ingredients of the cheese are the organic sheep’s milk of the fuenti-sheep, animal rennet (we can’t use rennet of plant origin because it gives the cheese a bitter taste in long ripening periods such as that of the cured Manchego), culture (a very low proportion because we aim for the milk’s own flora to be what gives the cheese its unique character) and sea salt, which is in charge of giving the cheese just the right touch of salt and of forming the crust.

Once the cheese is made, it goes into the ripening chamber until it acquires all the characteristics that it must have, be it soft, semi-cured or cured. Moreover, the ripening chamber contributes to the mould that gradually appears, giving it its own aroma. We remove this mould by brushing the cheese and applying a thin layer of organic extra virgen olive oil.

placa de caseína- queso manchego- finca fuentillezjos


Sheep’s milk, a cheese factory, casein plate, counter label

Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) Manchego Cheese is a combination of the territory (the natural region of Castilla-la Mancha) and the livestock (Manchega sheep).

The milk used for the elaboration of PDO Manchego cheese comes exclusively from sheep of the Manchega species. The sheep must live in the natural region of ‘La Mancha’, that is to say, in the heart of Castilla -La Mancha, territory that has always formed part of la Mancha. No whole province is included in the PDO and Guadalajara, for instance, is not included in the PDO at all.

The cheese factory must also be in the same territory.

When we make the cheese, we add a casein disc which is provided to us by the regulatory board. This is like the cheese’s ID number.

Every 15 days someone from the regulatory board comes to the cheese factory and takes a sample of cheese from each of the batches. These samples are analysed by the regulatory board and only the samples that pass both the physical and organoleptic analyses receive a counter label (also numbered). Parameters of the samples such as fat, protein or salt content are analysed as well as the absence of salmonella, listeria etc.

So, the identification of a Manchego cheese is a combination of the casein disc and the counter label. The casein disc must be visible, so it is impossible to find a Manchego cheese inside an opaque covering. For example, in our case, our honey and rosemary cheeses are not covered by the PDO.

They must also not have anything inside the cheese itself, that is to say, truffle flavour, sweet paprika …
Manchego cheeses have a minimum ripening time of 2 months.

Cheeses which are made using pasteurised milk are called ‘industrial cheeses.’ Artisanal Manchego cheeses are made using raw milk.

Concha- Bio soy yo


A traditionally modern way of working

We call a food ‘organic’ (ecológico in Spanish) if it comes from agriculture or livestock farming that is certified by an authorised certification body. In our case, this authorised certification body is SOHISCERT. When a food is not certified as organic it is called ‘conventional’.

The EU Organic Logo is the logo that is given to organic food and must be placed on the label, together with the certification body’s code.

Raw materials, cosmetic products, salt or rennet can all be certified as organic but they cannot carry the EU Organic Logo because they are not foodstuff.

Organically certified agriculture and livestock farming is more complex than everything that we have mentioned above. It is a philosophy, a way of living and working.

In general terms organic food is any food that, in order to obtain it, no synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides have been used.

In the case of sheep, in order for them to be organic they must live on an organic farm and feed exclusively on organically grown plant feed. They must have enough space to move around freely and the shepherds must have the necessary knowledge to care for them, understanding their needs and making sure that they are healthy.

Apart from these cases, foodstuff, raw materials, cosmetics and salt, the term ‘organic’ can be used freely. Can a bottle be organic? Yes, it’s not food. And a bed? Yes, it’s not food. What about a pear? No, not if it’s not certified.