It is worthwhile tasting the L'Etivaz alongside the Gruyère Alpage, and our Gruyère Vieux, - as they are all about the same age at the moment. There are a lot of similarities in the recipes of these cheeses, so at present you can taste how something that you would imagine should be quite similar in flavour, can be so startlingly different.
The Alpage and the L'Etivaz are still produced in a small copper vat, over a wood fire. The cows producing the milk are high on the Alps eating a very diverse range of fodder. Whereas the Gruyère Vieux is made of milk from cows grazing pastures at more like 900m and below, which are more uniform in their grass varieties.
As we progress through the 2013 summer production of the L'Etivaz we will also be able to taste variation in the cheese according to whether it was made early in the season (May June) or towards the end of the season (Aug Sept).