Last weekend, the alpine hamlet of Etivaz, known for its eponymous hard cheese, was overrun by brightly dressed cows. During autumn, cows, which have spent the summer grazing high mountain pastures, are brought down for the winter.
Désalpes, or Alpwirtschaft in German, is Switzerland’s way of marking the change of seasons. Cows are dressed up with buxom bunches of flowers and bells. The video below captures this year’s season change in action.
The hamlet, which sits at 1,190m in the commune of Château-d’Œx in Vaud, is well-known within Switzerland for its cheese, the first in Swiss cheese to have its name protected. The hard cheese is made exclusively from raw cow’s milk cooked in copper pots over open wood fires. These copper pots feature in the video.
If you want to see the life of an Etivaz cheese making family in action click here.
The name Etivaz comes from “Léthuà”, a word in the local dialect meaning “border”.