After having taken care of Alp Emmetti “fourty something” summers in a row – and about twenty more before that as a helper of his uncle – Dres Eberli last year sold the operation to his son Stephan, who at 25 just had gotten married and become a first time dad. But this step does not mean that Dres quit being an Älpler: He still wants and will be the one making the cheese on Alp Emmetti during the season.
Stephan brings up 30 of his own Original Brown cows and 25 more of the same breed from a neighbor down in the village. The house, barn, dairy and lowest meadows are located on 4950 feet, but the animals can roam in heights of up to 5700 feet. Emmetti is located off of the famous Panoramastrasse (panorama road) Giswil-Sörenberg in the Canton Obwalden. Outside the summer season the Eberlis live in Giswil where Stephan and his wife own an organic certified farm.
From the Alp milk he buys from his son Dres produces about 400 wheels of the relatively large format Obwaldner Alpkäse. His is made the very traditional way, using natural cultures he grows and nurtures on his own, and by treating the rind with a smear. Besides the Alpkäse Dres has become quite creative over the years and also crafts very popular Bratkäse (Raclette), Mutschli and several flavored and experimental, small batch cheeses as well as various dairy products. He also makes cured sausages and sells all of his goodies out of a little store front along the busy Panoramastrasse.
The dairy up on the Alp is very traditional and “still like in the good old days”. The house and spacious barn, on the other side, have been taken down completely and replaced by a new building back in 2000. The cheeses, once the Alp season comes to an end, do not remain up there. Several years back Dres invested in a small, former military bunker that now serves as a perfect aging and storage cellar.