Mainstreet and Mons in France
And so with the guidance, knowledge and expert linguistic skills of Jon Thrupp, Director of MONS Cheese UK, Bill, Shaun and Phillippa left Mainstreet for the mountains… We arrive in Geneva to meet Jon Thrupp and begin the drive over the Swiss-French border to Le Grand Bournand in the Alps. We meet Reblochon affineur Jean Pierre Missillier at his maturing rooms and spend some time tasting Reblochon with local wine which perfectly cuts through the richness of the cheese. Good start so far!
Region – Alps
Location – Le Grand-Bornand
Cheese – Reblochon
We set off for the first farm of the day and meet a truly inspiring family of cheese makers. Their picturesque farmhouse, surrounded by the spectacular Alps is home to their Abondance herd, we arrive just as they are being called down from the mountains for milking. The sound of cow bells makes for a magical greeting. We watch the milking in the low ceilinged parlour and taste some freshly drawn milk – sweet and lactic!
The two brothers walk us through the process of milking the cows, show us where the milk is then taken to be made into Reblochon, and also take us to meet the Heifers, (calves) in a small paddock outside. A sense of heritage, generational knowledge and routine guided by nature give the farm a real sense of calm.We then crowd around the kitchen table with the family, Jon translates the stories and we share tales of the merits of Scottish whisky! (followed by more local un-labelled wine!) and learn about the collection of elaborate cow bells hanging in the farmhouse. Such a privilege.