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A Knight Among Us

Valérie Henbest receives Knight of the French National Order of the Agricultural Merit Award.

Friday the 30th of June is a date we are not about to forget anytime soon.
That evening, in the heart of the Penfolds underground cellars, His Excellency
Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador of France to Australia, awarded Valérie Henbest,
owner of the Smelly Cheese Company, with the French National Order of the
Agricultural Merit.

This medal is one of France’s highest civilian awards and honours Valérie’s exceptional contributions to the agricultural industry via her incredible cheese business, and the strong bonds she cultivates between France and Australia.
For over 20 years, Valérie has travelled back and forth between these two countries
and established strong connections with cheese producers, affineurs and retailers in both hemispheres.
Valerie is also extremely passionate about the art of tasting and appreciating cheese, becoming a sought-after judge in Australia and abroad.

In recent years, Valérie has focused more intensely on the educational aspect of her work and has created a series of cheese classes that she now conducts around Australia and internationally.

“The more you know about a cheese or a wine, the better it tastes”, she says.

Terroir impacts the cheese as much as it impacts wine. So, this milestone not only celebrates the last 20 years of Valerie’s work, it gives us a strong indication of what
is yet to come!

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