One Family’s Long History of Hand Making a Summer Gruyère d’Alpage Cheese in the Swiss Alps

Great Big Story visited with Alexandre Murith at his family farm in Gruyéres, Switzerland. This is the place where he, his father and their ancestors have been hand making gruyère cheese for over five centuries.

While talking about the cheese they make, Murith demonstrated how to make gruyère d’alpage. This a special cheese that they only made once per year during the summer, when the cows have access to certain flora that grows upon the Swiss Alps during those months.

While regular gruyère is made year-round, gruyère d’alpage is only made from May through October. That’s when the cows are allowed to graze freely in the mountains, nibbling on wildflowers. Once the cows are milked, the Murith family’s gruyère d’alpage is made in a traditional manner with no processing, and each wheel is aged for several months.

Here’s another video demonstrating the process.