Mountain cheese

A regional delicacy awarded protected status by the EU

The tradition of cheesemaking goes back many centuries in the Gailtal Valley. Today there are 14 cheesemakers in this romantic Alpine valley producing the strong, mature cheese that is famous throughout the region and has been awarded protected status by the EU.

 

Visitors interested in finding out more about the cheesemaking and buttermaking tradition in the valley should explore the Gailtal Valley Cheese Trail, a circular hike taking in several cheesemaking farms dotted along the Italian border.

With a little luck you will have the chance to see how the farmers make cheese and butter. In fact, at the Tressdorfer Alm there is a special cheesemaking demonstration where visitors can watch the cheesemaking process and chat to the dairy farmers.

Tressdorfer Alm cheesemaking demonstrations (Nassfeld)

The cheesemaking demonstration centre at Tressdorfer Alm gives visitors the chance to experience dairy farming at first hand.

To reach the Tressdorfer Alm take the Millennium Express cable car and get off at the middle station (Tressdorfer Alm). Holders of the +Card PREMIUM can use the cable car free of charge. Alternatively, visitors can drive to the Tressdorfer Alm via Tröpolach and Sonnenalpe Nassfeld.

Regional specialties and organic products can be purchased from the farm shop or restaurant (open daily from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm). Cheesemaking demonstrations are out on every day from 9.00 am until 2.00pm between mid-June and mid-September.

Gailtal Valley cheese is produced at these locations

 

From fresh milk to Gailtal Valley cheese

The fresh milk produced by dairy cows in the Gailtal Valley is transformed into the strong, mature Gailtaler Almkäse cheese using an ancient recipe. First it is mixed with natural rennet and heated slowly in a large copper pot. After the curd has been cut, the cheese is heated to around 50°C while being stirred. Around two hours later the cheese is removed using cheese cloths and pressed into the mould.

After 24 hours the cheese is removed from the mould and placed in a saltwater bath for three days. It takes several weeks for the Gailtal Valley cheese to develop its rich, mature taste that makes it so popular throughout the region and beyond.