Imagine a winemaker who sends out wine under his label to be aged by someone else. Weird, huh? The cheese world, especially in France, has a long tradition of affinage, the process of aging or ripening cheese. But the product usually bears the affineur's label, not the farmer's, much like wine négociants. With the proliferation of artisan cheesemakers in the United states, skilled affinage is increasing. Interestingly, in many cases affineur and farmer share the label.