For those who love cheese above all, a journey across the famous Cheese Trail of Bregenzerwald is a must! It is a journey that offers a unique chance to discover this Austrian Gourmet Region (a registered brand by the Austrian Ministry for Food and the Agrarmarkt Austria) and sample the regional delicacies and its renowned alpine cheeses.
The Cheese Trail is a unique attraction in Bregenzerwald. It’s a project that gathers together farmers, alpine dairymen and cheese-makers, cheese restaurants and inns, museums and railways, tourist organizations and partners from across the fields. Their dedication to the cultivation and the maintenance of culinary delights and regional culture unite them and together they organize events and tasting sessions that initiate guests to the secrets of cheese production in the Vorarlberg region.
Along this route, the long history of cheese making in the Bregenzerwald is explored as well as how it has left its mark on the region’s culture, traditions and way of life.
Every year, approximately 3,000 tonnes of alpine cheese is produced in the valley’s 17 dairies and 200 tons of alpine cheese is handmade by the 90 or more dairy alps every summer. The three-stage farming method (inscribed in the Austrian national UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the spring of 2011) in particular gives the alpine cheese its special flavour that allows it to easily contend with the well-known European full-fat cheeses.
The Cheese Route is an opportunity to enjoy the beauties of this lovingly tended rural landscape and discover these unique mythic cheeses and learn about the produce of the region’s dairy farms: creamy natural yoghurt and smooth locally churned butter.
The route is not so much a one way street as much as a local network ideally linking various aspects of cheese production. Its route takes in many of the most memorable features of the Bregenzerwald: the fine old traditional buildings, the deeply rooted crafts traditions, and folklore, all immersed in the idyllic setting of a region which remains a world in itself.
One of the highlights of the route is the Alpine Dairy Farming Museum in Hittisau. The exhibit includes an authentic alpine dairy kitchen replica the way it was used 300 years ago. The expert tour guides explain how various historic utensils were used in the making of the cheese.