Capital City: Bregenz
Land surface area: 1,004.62 sq mi
Agricultural area: 103,432 hectares
Vorarlberg, which is situated in the very west of Austria on the border to Switzerland, is famous for the excellent cheeses it produces. Hay-milk cheese, alp- and mountain cheese from different regions and the “Sura Kees” offer something for every cheese lover. The reason for the great quality and taste of these cheeses is the first-class milk that comes from the healthy and naturally-fed mountain cows.
One of the regions, which has been especially recognized for its production of cheese is the Bregenzerwald (Bregenz forest). The brand "KäseStrasse Bregenzerwald" was introduced in 1998 and now includes 22 different kinds of cheeses. Until the 1650s only “Sauerkäse” (sour cheese) with skim milk was produced. This allowed the farmers to produce larger quantities of butter at the same time, which was used by them to pay their taxes. Only after the Thirty Years’ War, dairy farmers came to the region and taught people how to produce higher-fat cheese.
The result was the Bregenzerwald “Bergkäse” (mountain cheese), wich was known as the white gold of the region and is still popular today. The “Alp Cheese” is another delicious treasure of the region, which is exclusively hand-made during the summer. The “Sura Kees” has been a speciality of the region of Montafon since the 12th century. This aromatic cheese has the quality of being low in satured fats and therefore also in cholesterol.
The lush alpine pastures and the warm climate of Vorarlberg offer perfect conditions for stock farming. The “Ländle Alpschwein” (Vorarlberg alp pig) for example, spends up to 120 days in the open, fresh air and is only fed with the best quality food - a mixture of grain and whey. The “Ländle Kalb” (Vorarlberg calf) is another delicacy from Vorarlberg. Special attention is paid to the breeding of the calfs. They are all born in Vorarlberg and fed with the best whole milk available. Hormones are strictly forbidden, which also guarantees the highest meat quality and security.