Situated at the end of the Hongrin Valley, above at an altitude of 5200 ft., the chalet of the Zjörien family on Alpe Tompey offers a spectacular view over Lake Geneva. The Alp belongs to the community of Corbeyrier, and the Zjöriens are tenants there since 1971. The family produces on 450 acres of Alpe Tompey an Alpage L’Etivaz, one of the most searched for cheeses in Switzerland, and in 1999 the first one that got the AOP registration by the Swiss government.
Roughly from the beginning of June to the end of September the Zjöriens move up to the chalet with around 70 cows (Red Holstein, Holstein, Simmental, Swiss Brown), as well as 3 donkeys, the 2 dogs “Rocky” and “Bob”, 7 chickens and 10 pigs. During that time they produce about 9 tons of Alpage L’Etivaz.
Besides Mélanie and Florian Zjörien, Florian’s mom, his brother Rodolf and two employees spend the summer on Alpe Tompey. As elsewhere, transhumance is mostly a family business, therefore Stefan, another brother, and his girlfriend Sandra, as well as Mélanie’s father are helping part-time whenever they can. Since helper Krystian has gone back to his native Poland, the family is still on the lookout for a new helper.
One more member, however, will be on Tompey. Florian and Mélanie welcomed a baby girl, Emy was born on January 30, 2021, and is the new star of the family, even for her brothers Damien (6) and Jerry (4).
As opposed to other farmers doing transhumance the Zjöriens stay in the same chalet for the whole summer. So there is no need of moving up and down to different altitudes.
In 2020, they made a swap in their winter homes in Rougemont. Florian and Mélanie took over the big farmhouse, while his mom moved into the small apartment.
In 2017, the winners of the Adopt-an-Alp contest visited Alp Tompey. Watch the video.