Every year Beni and Theresia Hollenstein leave the farm operation in the village of Brülisau some time during the second week of June and move up to Alp Rainhütten, which they at first rented and in 2005 finally took over from Theresia’s father. Both the house and the production place were outdated, so eight years ago the Hollensteins took a brave step, tore down the facility and rebuilt everything. Now they live in a simple yet pleasant house and work in a truly modern dairy.
Alp Rainhütten is located on 4,300 feet altitude, at the foot of the Staubernkette range, from where the animals can move upwards and have access to the rich alpine vegetation.
Last winter there was another change at hand. The Hollensteins decided to only bring goats to their summer place and therefore created and built a gorgeous barn for them. “I just love goats”, Beni Hollenstein said when Caroline visited them in April. The barn has white painted concrete walls and light colored wood. 150 goats can comfortably lie down or walk and jump around.
This summer they will move 51 goats, 31 baby goats, 41 steers, 8 pigs, and dog Senta to Rainhütten. “When you visit them the most striking thing is how the Hollensteins respect and take care of their animals”, says Caroline. “They make no difference between people and animals, just fantastic.”
The goat cheese is made like an Alpkäse, of raw milk. It’s small format makes it edible after about a month. Then it is still mild and acidic. But over time it will become more “goaty”.