Tour Locations | Cowbells, Chalets and Balthus: A Swiss Alpine Village Excursion
Path to the Grand Chalet
Bear left onto the path covered in wood chips.
The Pays d’Enhaut, which means highland region in French, includes the villages of La Tine, Rossinière, Château d’Oex and Rougemont. It’s located in the Canton de Vaud in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. We are at an altitude of approximately 1,000 meters.
For hundreds of years, this has been a farming region. The fields that you see around you are given over to dairy and sheep farming. The farm on the opposite side of the valley, behind you, is called Le Sapelet and is one of the largest sheep dairy farms in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. You can find Le Sapelet cheeses in many of the local shops.
At the beginning of summer, cows and sheep are moved up to the Alpine pastures where they stay until the end of September. During this time, the grass in the valley is harvested and laid up for winter feed.
One of the best-known cheeses in the region is L’Etivaz. This cheese is made during the summer months in pastures over one kilometre away. It is made by hand in a large copper pot over a wood fire. After a few days, the cheese is transported to the cellars in Etivaz where it is matured over several months. L’Etivaz was one of the first Swiss cheeses to obtain a trademark (appellation originale controle).
If you’re interested, you can see cheese being made in this traditional way at the Chalet Restaurant in Chateau d’Oex.