Parpan is a small village in the Churwalden valley in the Canton Grison. It is well known for its alpine skiing and it is also the area where 1976 giant slalom olympic champion Heini Hemmi grew up. The Alp Parpan is operated by a co-op of three farmers and the “Plantahof”, an agricultural education center in the nearby town of Landquart in the River Rhine valley.
The operation covers four different Alp meadows, Stätz, Chötzenberg, Malix and Plantahof (owned by the center). They are located in an altitude between 5000 and 6000 feet. On those pastures graze a total of 260 cows, 150 steer, 150 pigs and almost a 100 suckler cows and “Galtkühe”. The latter are dry cows that don’t give milk anymore.
You’ll find the dairy on Alp Plantahof above Parpan where an over 100 years old stable has been turned into a modern show dairy in 2016. It was a multi-year futuristic project that involved all local authorities as well as private donators and helpers. The old structure and appearance was conserved. The dairy installations however are state-of-the-art and environment sensitive. As a visitor you can follow the whole cheesemaking process: from milk delivery to production to affinage, and, of course, you can taste the products.
Basil Imlig (30) from Steinerberg in the canton Schwyz is the new cheesemaker on Parpan.
During transhumance he and his team produce about 23 tons of Alpkäse. Furthermore they also make fresh cheese, butter, yoghurt, and whey drinks. Those products are also sold at the dairy.
The Alpkäse Parpan received several awards in 2016. At the Alpkäse awards of the Canton Grison it drew the highest grade “excellent”. Furthermore it came in 2nd at a public tasting in Savognin and 4th at the huge competition of the OLMA exhibition in the city of St. Gall.