Voices of the Earth: TerraVox Wine and Green Dirt Farm Cheese

These Midwestern artisans incorporate a love of the land into their products, and give voice to unique flavors that reflect America’s heartland.

Photo by Anna Petrow

Cheese and wine are a luxe and classic pairing. Their fermented goodness has been around since ancient times. As a duo or on their own, they’re products and expressions of local and regional environs and terroir. Starting as curds and juice, the end products are the extraordinary and beautiful results of fermentation, and the patient and watchful care of experienced cheesemakers and winemakers.

In the picturesque, hilly landscape around Weston, Missouri, you can find both Green Dirt Farm, owned by Sarah Hoffman, and TerraVox winery, founded by Jerry Eisterhold. At the Green Dirt Creamery, a joint venture located in Weston, you can taste the stunning sheep’s milk cheeses made by Hoffman and her staff, or spend time in the adjoining tasting room sampling the reds, whites, and rosés that owe their deep and subtle flavors to the work of viticulturist Thomas Volney Munson.

When weather permits, the two businesses collaborate and host a series of events, including, not surprisingly, cheese and wine pairings. A beautifully converted barn on Green Dirt Farm provides a charming setting, but the real magic happens when you taste the cheese and wine together.

Hoffman’s connection to the land goes back to her childhood. “My father was in the military, so we moved around a lot when I was a kid,” Hoffman says. “But Dad didn’t want us to grow up on base, so we lived mainly on farms. We always grew our own vegetables and fruits, and had livestock. That’s an experience I wanted to pass on to my own children.”

Green Dirt is now a 150-acre farm with 150 sheep, 80 of which are milking females. Hoffman employs a staff of 12, and her daughter, Eliza Spertus, has become farm manager and oversees most of the day-to-day operations. According to Hoffman, she sees herself as the farm’s main problem-solver, public relations representative, and accountant.



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