Inside the Italian factory that makes luxurious wine-soaked cheese wheels

Factory La Casearia Carpenedo in northern Italy’s Treviso dunks and soaks its cheese wheels in wine as part of the cheese’s refinement process.

Their cheese is called “Ubriaco,” which literally translates into “drunken” cheese.

We visited the factory to find out more about how it’s made.

It all starts with a pasteurised cow’s milk cheese wheel which is used as a base. This kind of cheese is made specifically for the factory to “get drunk” in wine.

Entire cheese wheels are dipped and washed in wine pressings and then left to age in the wine. Some cheese wheels can soak for up 150 days. The entire process can take up to 2.5 years, depending on how long the cheese wheels are left to age before and after they are soaked in wine.

The factory makes 15 types of drunken cheese soaked in different wines: red, white, and even Prosecco, which is typical of Veneto (Treviso’s region). The most popular is “Ubriaco di Raboso” made with a local wine.

The “Ubriaco” was born in 1976, but the process dates to the years of World War I, when local farmers used to hide cheese from hungry soldiers in barrels of wine.

The Carpenedo family perfected the technique and opened the factory, making over 20,000 wheels per year. They export all over the world and also have a stall at Borough Market in London.

An entire cheese wheel costs from €100 to €200 (£87-175.)