Alp Maran is busy getting ready for the season. The last snow is finally leaving and the grass is coming in strong and juicy (well, if you were a cow you'd find that enticing).
'Almauftrieb' or 'Alpaufzug' was planned for June 1st but due to the lingering snow might be pushed back to middle of June. That's when they start bringing the cattle up to the Alps. Alp Maran will receive milk from about 400 cows. They not only use their own milk but receive the milk from 3 other Alps via pipeline each day.
Meet the Team
Once the milk arrives, the team at Alp Maran needs to be ready. Under the watchful eyes of master cheese maker Walter Niklaus, the team will produce Alpkaese, Raclette cheese, hard and soft cheeses as well as cream cheese, yogurt, cream and butter. Thanks to the fresh grasses from the alp, the cows produce a rich and aromatic milk that builds the foundation for these excellent cheeses. Here is the team in front of the storage area where the cheese is being turned, washed and ripened.
Walter's crew has two apprentices, Jürg who was there last year already, Alesandra Battilana from the Puschlav valley, and Bahabelom Mezgeboan, immigrant from Eritrean. Chris Leuthold, a very experienced cheese maker, will join the team on July 1st for 3 months. Last but not least there is Arnold, the butter specialist, who will partly be there as well. They all are excited for the new season!
Where is Alp Maran?
Alp Maran is located close to Arosa, at the end of the romantic Schanfigg Valley at an altitude of about 5400 above sea level. With its impressive range of mountain peaks all around, Arosa is just as attractive for extended hiking tours in summer as it is in winter, offering a great variety of snow sport activities.
Because of its location at the bottom of a wide valley, Arosa is very sunny and to a great extent sheltered from strong winds. As there is no transit traffic, the air is particularly pure which is why Arosa has been a famous Alpine health resort since 1877. Our 400 cows on the alps, just above Arosa, will enjoy the fresh summer air and produce rich milk and tasty cheese.