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Alp Nünenen (BE)

Owners/Operators: Lloyd Zumstein (Monalp Ltd), Alpcorporation Nünenen, Sarah Gross (cheesemaker)

Cheeses Produced: Alpkäse 2020 and 2021

Located in the beautiful area of the Gantrisch (Bernese Alps), Nünenen does not only offer spectacular views of the Lake Thun area, the operation stands out due to a mobile cheese dairy. Owned by the “Alpcorporation Nünenen” the Alp is managed by a female cheesemaker, Sarah Gross, and her family of six: Husband Davide, an Italian, and the children Ada (17), Marie (15), Damian (12), and Vivian (8).

Sarah is a true “Älpler”. Growing up as a city kid she was always attracted by the simple life of transhumance. After finishing secondary school she spent her first year on a very simply furnished Alp in the Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton in Switzerland. In the following 25 years, she never missed a summer on the Alp meadows, spent many of them in the Italian Alps where she eventually met her husband. Davide, who had a job before, will spend the whole summer with is family on Nünenen.

Once summer is here, Sarah, her family, and two Italian friends move the animals from their home in Heitenried (FR) to the Nünenen meadows on an altitude of 1609 m (5280 feet): 120 cattle, 20 cows, 6 goats, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 6 chicken. In addition, they receive milk from an additional 25 cows from a neighbor.

Due to the open area and the presence of the four children, the Alp is very lively and welcomes visitors to taste and buy its products. A specialty is the ice cream made in the dairy after a genuine original recipe from Italy.

Monalp Ltd.

As indicated, a mobile dairy makes up for the innovative part of the operation. Once transhumance is over it will be transported to the winter home in Heitenried where Sarah can continue making cheese.

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