Alp Laui belongs to a longstanding, traditional Alp corporation, the Unteralmig, and exists since 1354. The Fassbind family has owned the right to have a hut up there since 1360! Located on 4’800 feet altitude along the Fronalpstock massif in deepest central Switzerland, this is a true family affair and completely genuine Alp operation.
Wisel, who’s background is carpentry, and his wife Bernadette spend the summer on Laui together with their daughter Priska (24) and three sons Ruedi (22), Martin (19) and Peter (16). While the two women mostly tend to the house and restaurant, the men are in charge of the animals, the meadows, the barn and, between father Wisel and oldest son Ruedi, the dairy and cheese cellar.
There are 20 Original Brown cows on Laui as well as 20 young cows of the same breed. Wisel also receives the milk from 29 other cows on neighboring meadows, Unterstöck and Bödmeren. Together they produce around 12’500 gallons of milk, which are crafted in about 5 tons of Alpkäse, plus – at the beginning of the season – small format Mutschli as well as various dairy products like yogurt, butter and whey drinks.
The cheeses from Alp Laui are created with natural, home grown cultures and thus vary from one batch to the next. The raw milk also is heated over an open fire, which allows it to transform into characterful, tasty, expressive wheels of cheese. This is old fashion at its best!
While the family brings the animals down to the valley after the summer and settles in its home in Illgau, on the foot of the Stoos and Fronalpstock mountains, Wisel and his wife commute between Laui and their second home throughout the entire non Alp season. The restaurant, popular with skiers, hikers and mountain bikers all year round, as well as the cheese care and maintenance of the house, barn and dairy keeps them busy enough. And whenever Wisel thinks he needs even one more thing on his plate he goes and helps a friend with his moving truck…