Gruyère AOP is produced in western Switzerland. Switzerland: a pocket of green in the middle of Europe, where milk producers have an average of 26 cows in their herd. This small structure allows them to build up a special relationship with their cows. They call each cow by its name, such as Marguerite or Cerise. Every day, the producer observes his herd in its natural environment. Milk production focuses on nature. For Gruyère AOP, no silage is permitted. The cow fodder comes from fresh grass in summer, and from hay or regrowth in winter, without any additives.
The producer milks his cows twice a day, morning and evening, all year round. He always takes the fresh milk to the same dairy, twice a day, immediately after milking. The dairy is usually located at the very heart of the village. The producer and cheesemaker know each other well, and the dairy is just a few kilometres away from the farm. The milk which connects them is a fragile product which deserves special treatment.
The cheesemaker turns the milk into Gruyère AOP each morning. He produces cheese every day, all year round, without exception. He performs the same traditional motions, over and over again. Gruyère AOP cheesemakers are craftsmen. They observe the entire curdling process. The cheesemaker decides when the cut curdle is ready to be removed from the vat and placed in the mould. The cheesemaker's watchful eye is an integral part of the production of Gruyère AOP.