In the country of Gruyère and AOC Vacherin Mont d’Or, the fire crackles under a big cauldron. With well-known circular movements, the cheesemaker divides the milk mass into wheat grain-sized particles. He then sinks a linen cloth into the cauldron and hauls up enough particles to make a thirty-kilo round of cheese.
So starts the famous AOC Gruyère making, craftsman made according to the tradition of the 17th century. To discover cheesemaking in a mountain chalet, followed by breakfast, is part of the highlights while visiting Vallée de Joux in the summer season. Our region has got around fifteen mountain chalets where more than 200 tons of Gruyère and other local specialties are made and sold during the summer.
In the beginning of autumn, when the herds leave the mountain and return to the valley, the cheese factories in Le Brassus, Le Solliat, Le Lieu, Le Séchey and Les Charbonnières start selling the first AOC Vacherin Mont d’Or of the season. This soft cheese is prepared during the whole winter and delights many enthusiasts when it over again fills up several maturing caves around Vallée de Joux.