Around the middle of June Theres and Ernst Reichenbach, together with 7 children and 18 Simmental cows, move up from their farm in Gstaad to Alp Satteleggli. It is located 1600 m (4,800 ft) above sea level, in the deepest Berner Oberland (Bernese Alps), roughly said high above the village of Feutersoey and just beneath the summit of the Hohfluh mountain. Up there Theres makes Berner Alpkäse and Hobelkäse, both AOP cheeses, while Ernst tends to the animals and takes care of the meadows both on the Alp and down in Gstaad.
The cheeses are made of raw milk warmed over a wood fire. The wheels crafted during the first few weeks weigh about 13 lbs, the ones after that are larger and weigh 20-22 lbs. They have a thick, oily rind and a very dense, compact paste with no holes. The flavor is mild, milky and creamy when young, and switches towards sweet caramel notes with more age. Berner Alpkäse reaches its peak at 10-12 months and stays wonderful up to – and long after – the moment it becomes Hobelkäse, at 3 years of maturation. The Hobelkäse, as its name suggests, is best when shaved paper thin on a traditional Hobel (wooden shaver).