St. Benoît Milk: Quality, Sustainability and Purity.
In keeping with our vision of products that both protect and showcase Sonoma’s rich natural foodshed, Saint Benoît Creamery now bottles organic, low-pasteurized, pasture-raised Jersey cows’ milk in glass.
We are certified Organic by CCOF, and pride ourselves on being locally sourced and sustainable. We believe in supporting local organic farmers because they are the key to a sustainable foodshed. The cows for St. Benoît milk naturally lead a life free of any antibiotics and pesticides. This is great for the cows, fantastic for the milk, and of course much better for the environment. You should see the wildlife, including the sheer number of healthy insects such as ladybugs that make the farm their home.
WHOLE JERSEY MILK
Jerseys produce rich creamy milk thanks to the high protein and good fat content. Compared to Holsteins, Jerseys produce 30% less per milking, but the milk is of an exceptional quality, and yet Jerseys require far less acreage than Holsteins. We keep the original fat content in the milk to protect the naturally occurring vitamin A and D, and give you superior quality taste.
PASTURE-RAISED JERSEY COWS IN LOCAL SONOMA COUNTY
We believe pasturing is the best choice: the best for animal welfare, the best for a superior consumer product. Cows are happiest out in the fresh air, eating lush green grasses, getting plenty of daily sunshine and exercise. Pasturing also gives their milk a unique authentic flavor. When cows graze on the land, the milk also has a much higher level of linoleic acid and vitamin E (compared to grain-fed confinement herds).
Although many milk brands carry an organic label, most dairy herds do not spend the majority of their lives outside grazing, and a large percentage of their diet comes from organic grains. The cows at Saint Benoît Creamery are always outside year-round and fed from the pastures they graze on. In Northern California, is not possible to have a 100% grass-fed diet because of the wetter and drier months of the year. However, it is possible to let the cows roam and graze outside 365 days a year thanks to California’s temperate climate.
The Jerseys at Saint Benoît Creamery, have a consistent diet of grass year-round with plenty of room for fresh air and exercise. Often we have seen one acre per cow of pasture land, but these lucky ladies have an average of two acres per cow. No more than 1/4 of the cows’ diet comes from organic grains. In addition, the farmer grows his own supplemental grass for those extremely dry or wet months, to ensure maximum quality nutrition for the ladies.
We choose not to homogenize our milk because we wanted it to remain as close to its natural state as possible. Homogenizing forces the fat globules artificially to break down, which means the cream does not rise to the top as it normally would. We chose an artisanal approach and leave the molecules intact because it maintains the integrity of the product. This decision is one factor in our creamy, fresh, and richer tasting milk.
Our milk is vat (or low heat) pasteurized which is very different than other milks on the market. We pasteurize at 145F (the lowest legal limit) whereas other creameries pasteurize between 180F and 215F. Vat pasteurizing ensures that we keep the milk as close to its original state as possible, allowing us to avoid extensive processing and a “cooked” taste. We think that minimally processed foods are not only better for you; they simply taste better. Because it is pasteurized, it is of course safe for infants and pregnant women.
We get our milk from the first milking of the day. Then we bottle it right on the farm, within hours, in small batches. There are no delays in transport or storage, which means it is at its peak of perfection.
A SINGLE SOURCE FARM
In an era of mass agribusiness, we are proud to partner with a small fourth generation dairy farm as the sole source of our milk. This is the freshest, tastiest, milk you will find. Because of our partnership, we can provide outstanding quality and traceability. We work with a farmer who takes immense pride in his craft.
IN RECYCLABLE BOTTLES
Our bottles are made with 100% recyclable material.