Good alpine cheese is based on three important facts: the quality of the milk, the cheesemaker’s expertise and the right maturing. During the first weeks of its life, the cheese is being cared for by the producer on his alpine farm: After having been pressed, the cheese wheels are kept in a salt bath for 24 hours after which they are stored on pine shelves and washed with salted water and turned over every day. After a few days or weeks, according to the different recipes, the cheese wheels are washed with water only. When they are matured long enough to be transported, they enter our small cheese cellar near Olten in the centre of Switzerland, where Lee Aspinall, our “affineur” is taking over. He stores the cheese on pine shelves as well, brushes and washes the wheels daily, later weekly. All by hand. He knows his wheels – over time, they become personalities: Each one wants to be treated differently. Some need to be brushed a bit stronger or more often, others need a bit more washing.
Lee Aspinall, Alpages' cheese affineur in Switzerland
Apart from that, he is making sure that the temperature in the cellar is set at 15 C° and the humidity at around 98%. That’s the environment alp cheeses love best. Washing and turning the cheeses over by hand is quite hard work, Lee easily lifts over a ton of cheese a working day…
But thanks to his dedication, we can guarantee for the high quality of our cheeses.
Part of our cellar.
This is how the cheese is matured in its early days, up in the mountains (here: Piora).