2 days at the heart of the lush-green landscapes of the Haut-Doubs, to discover the first stages involved in making comté cheese. On the programme for this getaway is a tour of a farm, cheese dairy and maturing cellar, to meet the passionate people behind this delicious cheese!
The charming Ferme de l'Absinthe
At the Ferme de l'Absinthe, the Charmier family welcomes you to come and explore the farm they've been running since 1987. They are passionate farmers who take good care of their herd of Montbéliarde dairy cattle, whose milk is used to make comté. They will tell you all about their profession as farmers, for the first step in making comté.
We recommend you contact them before your visit to make sure they have time to show you around!
Other farms to visit
Gourmet stopover and a great night's sleep
La Tour du Coq Doré
Close to the Ferme de l'Absinthe, you can choose to stay at the La Tour du Coq Doré bed & breakfast.
Bénédicte will welcome you and make you feel at home, and while you're there, you can taste some skilfully concocted local speciality dishes. Then you can expect a great night's sleep in this spacious and tastefully renovated guest house.
Added bonus: in the spring and summer, open the windows of your bedroom and you'll hear the bells of the Montbéliarde cattle!La Tour du Coq Doré
La Ferme de Fleurette
Céline and Mickaël will welcome you to their holiday gite and bed and breakfast at the heart of the Métabief Mont d'Or resort.
Very close to the farm, you can learn about what it's like to work on a farm that produces comté cheese while enjoying the scenery and lakes of the Haut-Doubs.
A peaceful stay in a house with the traditional architecture of the Jura Mountains, where wood and stone add a very charming touch!La Ferme de Fleurette
The birth of comté
The next morning, set off again for the next step, the birth of comté.
At the Bouverans cheese dairy you'll be able to admire the work of Delphin, the cheesemaker, and the expert work he does to transform milk from the Montbéliarde cattle into wheels of Comté.
He will be delighted to tell you all about what makes this cheese so special, and about his cheesemaking profession!
At the end of the visit, you'll have an opportunity to taste the cheese, straight from the Marcel Petite maturing cellars, at Fort Saint-Antoine. Other regional cheeses are also available to buy, to take some souvenirs home with you from your visit (comté can be kept for a long time if it's vacuum-packed), and then taste the wonders of the Jura Mountains from a distance!
P.S.: Make a reservation a few days before your visit if you want to be sure that Delphin is available and has time to show you around.The cheese dairy
Other cheese dairies to visit
Did you know?
Did you know that to produce a wheel of comté that weighs around 40 kilos, over 400 litres of milk are needed?
With over 60,000 tonnes of comté sold every year, that involves a lot of Montbéliarde cattle!
Lunch at a mountain chalet
To recharge your batteries and admire the scenery of the Haut-Doubs at the same time, stop off at La Petite Échelle. A mountain chalet transformed into an auberge where customers are welcomed in an exceptional setting, close to Mont d'Or. The traditional cuisine here will make your mouth water, with a menu featuring Morteau sausage, rostis and fondue. One of the most popular dishes is the fondue with sweet woodruff, a dried plant with notes of Tonka bean!
Where to buy good local produce
The secrets behind the maturing process at Fort Saint-Antoine
For the last visit of the weekend, head to Fort-Saint Antoine at an altitude of 1,100 metres to uncover the secret of the last stage in making comté: the maturing stage.
In the darkness of the Marcel Petite cellars, these naturally formed caves, you'll be able to admire close to 100,000 wheels of comté that are slowly developing in flavour. The underground galleries in this former military barracks provide the perfect conditions for maturing comté cheese. Temperature, light, humidity levels and so on are all meticulously controlled to produce the very best wheels, which are then sold across the globe.
Since Fort Saint-Antoine was converted into a maturing cellar in 1966, over a million wheels of comté have passed through this exceptional place, making it the ideal last visit for your getaway.
A question of taste
Fruity, plant-based, spicy... these are some of the flavours that spring to mind when tasting a piece of comté! But do you know where the taste of this cheese from the Jura Mountains actually comes from?
In fact, each wheel has its own story, according to the following criteria:
- The geographic location: the altitude, terroir and the type of plants that the cattle feed on all influence the taste of the milk.
- The time of year: the diet of the Montbéliarde cattle isn't the same in each season, this therefore gives a different taste to the comté.
- The techniques: each cheesemaker and cheese maturer has their own specific techniques to make and store the wheels.
- Maturing: the taste and texture of the cheese evolves throughout the maturing process, that can vary in duration between 4 and 24 months.