Gruyère AOP is an absolute staple of Swiss cheeses, famous all over the world. And an Alpage Gruyère AOP, made during transhumance in the summer, is even higher regarded. We found a new Gruyère Alp for 2021, Alpe Givrine, located in the southwest corner of the canton Vaud, close to the French border.
Two cousins, Hugo and Cédric Pradervand with their families, are in charge of the operations on the meadows of Alpe Givrine and Coppettes. Cheeses are made on Givrine only because the chalet has electricity and running water. Jean-Luc Humbert, a professional cheesemaker, is in charge since 2015.
At an altitude of around 4300 ft. 55 Simmental cows graze on Givrine, 55 Simmental and Holstein on Coppettes where Cédric Pradervand, his wife Monique, and their children Alex (19) and Emily (17) live in simple conditions: on Coppettes there is no electricity or running water - it's transhumance in its original state.
Gruyère Alpage AOP is not the only product made on Givrine. There's raclette, "Le Givrine", a Vacherin Fribourgeois style cheese, Sérac (a whey cheese), butter, yogurt - and you can buy them on the premises as well. Hugo's parents, Luc and Gabi, who owned the operation before, tend to the little store.