For many years, the vineyard regions have offered their wine routes to discover the under-lands of their terroirs. For a weekend, we take you on the Cheese Road of Savoie. A trip around and its lake, between the massif of the Bauges and that of the Aravis. Let ‘s discover the know – how, amidst verdant landscapes, interspersed with unusual accommodations and meals not always so rich in fat. In good French you are, in love with cheeses, I suppose you will not resist knowing more about one of our most beautiful regions.
THE ROAD OF CHEESES OF SAVOIE, JOYAUX OF THE TERRITORY OF SAVOIE MONT-BLANC (milk production, processing and refining)
But why discover the Cheese Roads of Savoie?
Already, because these cheeses are all authentic and tastier than each other. To discover the Cheese Road of Savoie, you can also easily discover the trades that make cheeses. Here men have managed to preserve these gestures of craftsmen who give their full character to the different productions. Cheeses, there are many in Savoie-Mont Blanc, but seven of them, made from whole milk, are classified by 2 labels:
- AOP : Protected Designation of Origin
- PGI : Protected Geographical Indication
These labels guarantee a know-how that is transmitted from generation to generation: first of all that of dairy producers and their cows of local breeds Abondance, Montbéliarde or Tarine that adapt to the climate. Then, that of the cheese makers who make the cheeses on the farm or in the fruit trees. Finally, that of the refiners who finish the work by maturing at best the cheeses. They also define a geographical area as well as a specification going far beyond an organic label, allowing local and responsible production.
These cheeses are as follows:
- The AOP Abondance
- AOP Beaufort
- Chevrotin AOP
- The AOP Reblochon
- The AOP Tome des bauges
- The PGI Tomme de Savoie
- The Emmental PGI PGI
- The IGP Raclette de Savoie
What we liked quickly, on this route, is to discover the secrets of making cheeses (it reminded me of my childhood when we went out to school) but also see the rational management of cheese production. Here the animals are not pushed to produce to the maximum. Breeders seek the welfare of their animals in order to obtain the best milk. They realized that the stress on the animals culminated very quickly in a milk of poor quality and thus a cheaper cheese. The key word is QUALITY.
Values that we like well and that shape the landscapes since to respect the specifications, breeders must feed the cows with grasses coming from a radius of less than 15 km to the round of their farms .. This permits to perpetuate a tradition, that of alpine pastures. In fine weather, for about 4 months (from May to September), the men lead the herds to the pastures in the mountains. The animals feed on fresh grass, which at the same time allows the production of hay in the valley. The breeders have a second farm perched on the mountain … a pasture.
Did you know that the taste of cheese changes according to the seasons and the food of the cows? For example, the Beaufort is more fruity in summer than in winter …
BUT WHAT RELATIONSHIP WITH TOURISM DO YOU SAY?
And of unique landscapes made of natural meadows and flowered, with cows grazing the summer ringing their bells and which you can enjoy by making beautiful hikes, mountain biking or other outdoor activities. These meadows would not exist without it. The forest would have regained its rights on all these spaces no longer allowing us to down the ski slopes in winter. A true economic model respecting the environment, the rhythm of animals and thus profitable to all, local and tourists.