organic Manchego cheese
Soto del Marqués
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The project

Adopt a Manchega sheep of our flock "Soto del Marqués" in Los Yébenes (Spain) and receive your harvest in the form of organic Manchego cheese at home. The Farmer Antonio will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. As the production coming from one Manchega sheep is big, the adoption is shared among various people. If you wish to have a bigger share, you may adopt more than once. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

The project

Adopt a Manchega sheep of our flock "Soto del Marqués" in Los Yébenes (Spain) and receive your harvest in the form of organic Manchego cheese at home. The Farmer Antonio will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. As the production coming from one Manchega sheep is big, the adoption is shared among various people. If you wish to have a bigger share, you may adopt more than once. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you receive your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.

What do you adopt?
Adopt a Manchega sheep that we take care of following the Organic Farming regulations of the European Union since 2020. You adopt a “La Mancha” sheep, breeded according to the organic EU standards. These sheep are native to our area as we are located in La Mancha, in the municipality of Los Yébenes in the province of Toledo. Our sheep feed on the pastures of the farm itself, which consists of cereals and organic fodder, spending practically the whole day roaming freely between the pastures and the sheepfold. Our sheep start producing milk at about about 3 or 4 years of age. One of our sheep produces approximately 115 to 125 litres of milk per season. To make one kilo of cheese we need 5 litres of milk so each sheep will be adopted by 8 CrowdFarmers. When the sheep give birth, the lambs are raised with their mother. In the case of the male lambs, some stay on the farm to become parents and the rest are sent to a slaughterhouse to be sold as suckling lambs. We are a family project, of artisan production with organic certification since January 2020 and with Denomination of Origin Manchego since our cheeses are made exclusively with milk from Manchegan sheep and are produced in La Mancha. Together with our other project named Marqués de Mendiola, we have recently won these awards: * GOLD Medal for the best cured cheese in Spain WCA 2019-2020. * SILVER Medal best Semi Cured Cheese WCA 2019-2020. * SILVER Medal best cheese with rosemary ingredient WCA 2019-2020. * BRONZE Medal best raw milk sheep cheese WCA 2019-2020. * BRONZE Medal best cured sheep cheese from small producer WCA 2019-2020.
What will you receive?
Each season we will send you a box with: * 1x __Organic semi-cured cheese__ (wedge of approximately 1.5kg) This young Manchego has a 3 month aging period, which is when it gets its characteristic pleasant taste, with a grass like aroma and a subtle spicy touch. * 1x __Organic cured cheese__ (wedge of approximately 1kg) Has an aging period of 6 months, with a rich aroma characteristic of cheeses made from pure sheep's milk. With a more intense flavor and a slight touch of acidity. * 1x __Organic aged cheese__ (wedge of approximately 0.5kg) It has a 12-month aging period, with a grainy texture, an intense flavor due to the aging time and a very rounded finish with nutty touches. Recommendations for all cheeses: It is important to keep them refrigerated and in their original packaging until consumption. The ideal temperature for consumption is around 20ºC, which is why we recommend that they should be kept at a temperature of 20-30 minutes before consumption. The packaging in which the protected cheese comes should be discarded once it is opened for consumption, try to cover the cheese again with a wrapping that isolates it as much as possible from contact with the air. As our cheeses do not contain any preservatives or antibiotics, it is possible that mould may appear on the surface of the cheese. This can be removed by cleaning the area well and it will continue to be suitable for consumption. Preferably consume within 1 year, but the cheese does not expire. In case the packaging has lost its vacuum, it is recommended to consume the cheese before and to store it according to the above instructions.
When will you receive it?
Please, check the deadline for participating in this project (deadline for adoption) below. As of this date the Farmer will start preparing the orders that are to be shipped. You may select the delivery date of your box as suggested by the Farmer at check-out.
Why should you adopt?
* Learn who produces your food, how and where. Receive your food in a conscious manner. * Buy directly from the farmer. Help to generate wealth and better jobs in the rural areas. * Plan ahead and enable the Farmer to produce on demand. This way we can avoid overproduction and fight food waste. * Reward Farmers who make an effort to use environmentally-friendly packaging and cultivation techniques.
Organic
PDO
Handmade

How does it work?

Meet the Farmers

Meet the Farmers

Adopt and plan your harvest

Adopt and plan your harvest

Let the Farmer and nature work

Let the Farmer and nature work

Receive your harvest at home

Receive your harvest at home

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Experienced Farmer
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Product with history
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Organic
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Small Farm
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Family Farm
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Visitors welcome
Antonio Marqués Martin
20 years ago my wife Emilia and I decided to start a new life on the old farm of my parents in Ciempozuelos, Madrid. Since this is a very fertile area, we first started to cultivate vegetables, but later we noticed that livestock breeding has been our true passion. We focused on sheep and began to raise lambs. Surely, it was not an easy journey and on several occasions we were very close to throw in the towel. When you create your own product you do not only have to worry about its production but also need to think about the people that will try it. Step by step, we improved as breeders and cheese makers. The first international success we had was in 2015 when we won the silver medal for Best Raw Sheep Cheese in the World at the INTERNATIONAL CHEESE AWARDS in Nantwich (United Kingdom). I believe that this price gave us the confidence to continue to bet on small productions of our cheeses where we ourselves could control every step of the production process. In doing so, today we are calling a herd of 1.000 animals our own. After winning the medal in 2015, our success story continued: 2017-2018 WORLD CHEESE AWARD (London, UK):
  • Gold medal for our “Añejo” cheese as the world’s best pure sheep cheese.
  • Silver medal for our “Añejo” cheese in the category of small producers.
  • Bronze medal for our cured cheese as third-best pure sheep cheese in the world.
  • Bronze medal for our cured cheese in the category of small producers.
2017 INTERNATIONAL CHEESE AWARDS:
  • Bronze medal for our cured cheese as world’s best pure sheep cheese.
2016-2017 SUPER GOLD WORLD CHEESE AWARDS (Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain):
  • Gold medal for our handmade “Añejo” cheese.
From now on, our objective is to create a direct channel with the consumers in order to know exactly what amount of cheese to produce each season.
Antonio Marqués Martin

"Our handmade cheese produced from raw sheep’s milk is the fruit of our love towards the countryside and our passion for sheep breeding. In the course of the years working in livestock breeding, we have learned that to get the best cheese, first and foremost, you need to produce the best milk. We do not have any secret, we simply treat our sheep as if they were part of our family. By means of daily effort as well as continuous improvement of their nutrition and well-being, we have won various medals at an international level. Winning a medal gives you great satisfaction for a while, but it cannot be compared to the satisfaction gained by dedicating your life something you enjoy."

Soto del Marqués
Soto del Marqués
The property is called La Castellana, and is located in the municipality of Los Yébenes (Toledo). It is an area of more than 1500 hectares, which has facilitated the conversion to organic. We have been certified since January 2020 although we began with the conversion process in 2019. We decided to convert to organic because the farm meets the main requirements for it and after devoting all our life to the production of artisanal cheese, it was a step we wanted to take. In fact, at present we have another farm in Madrid with another cheese project (Marqués de Mendiola) for which we want to begin the process of conversion to organic soon. The farm consists mainly of a large area of pasture with wheat, barley and rapeseed. Depending on the time of year, we also plant sunflowers, oats, vetch. We are surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Most of the property is dry land and we have a small part of irrigated land for summer crops. At 6 am, the day begins for the sheep with their first milking. Afterwards, they spend most of the day grazing freely in the fields. They return around 4 or 5 pm to be milked again at 6 pm. The sheep sleep and spend the winter in the shelter of the sheepfold, where they have water, hay and fodder continuously at their disposal. At present the team consists of 6 people of which 4 are native to the area, and have been with me for a long time, since before we became organic I was already in charge of the farm with my sheep. In the project, I am accompanied by my wife Emilia and my children who, although they are studying at university, come help with the sheep and the work on the farm when they have time. The main idea is that they take care of the farm when we are not around.
Technical information
Address
Soto del Marqués, Los Yébenes, ES
Altitude
800-900 m
Team
5 men and 1 women
Size
1500 hectares
Cultivation technique
herbs, cereals and organic fodder
Flock size
600
Location