Enjoy Beaufort at Valfréjus

The commune of Modane, at the foot of the Valfréjus ski resort, has long developed around its railway station and border-related activities. However, agriculture has always been present in the mountain pastures. Today, these farms produce Beaufort cheese and raise sheep. In summer, the former Lavoir military barracks are transformed into a cheese factory. A must-see before tasting the famous Beaufort!

The herds in the mountain pastures

Tarines and abundances

In the mountain pastures above Valfréjus, herds of cows and sheep graze all summer long. Milk from cows of the Tarine or Abondance breeds is processed into Beaufort at the Lavoir cheese dairy. This cheese dairy is housed in a former military barracks. At the end of the day, you can visit the dairy and buy Beaufort directly from the producer.

Agriculture and Beaufort PDO in Valfréjus

Sheep and patous in the mountain pastures

During your hikes, you will also regularly see sheep enjoying the mountain grass. Keep your distance, however, as the herds are guarded by shepherds and patous dogs who may perceive you as a threat if you get too close or cross the herd.
The herds of sheep and cows graze at high altitudes all summer long and thus contribute to the maintenance of the landscape. Throughout the Haute Maurienne Vanoise, several mountain pasture farms welcome you. The cheese makers, the alpagists and the farmers will make you discover their life, hard but beautiful, and their products. They will gladly tell you about their job, milking, haying, calving, patous, wolves...

Le Lavoir : a former barracks transformed into a cheese factory

The Lavoir cheese dairy at Valfréjus is housed in a former military barracks of the Maginot Line of the Alps. Built between 1932 and 1939, this barracks supported the Lavoir fort, located below the barracks. The fort's entrances and casemates can still be seen along the trail.
Every summer, from June to September, a farmer and his herd move into the former barracks. The building serves as a cheese dairy, producing Beaufort d'alpage, tomme, serac and butter.
You can visit the cheese dairy every day during the summer season (July and August) from 3pm to 8pm. A sales outlet is open at the same times.
Alpine Beaufort from the Lavoir cheese dairy at Valfréjus is an exceptional cheese made from the milk of cows that graze in the mountains all summer long. Typicity and authenticity guaranteed.
Beaufort d'alpage is made with milk from a single herd at high altitude (above 1500m). At this height, the composition of the grass changes, giving this mountain cheese an incomparable taste, firmer in the mouth than that of summer Beaufort. This makes it a rare and noble product.

Agriculture and Beaufort PDO in Valfréjus

Beaufort cheese

Beaufort has been awarded the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée label, which imposes very strict specifications, including regular checks on milk producers and a minimum maturing period of 5 months.
Beaufort comes in the form of a wheel weighing around 40 kg, 11 to 16 cm high and 35 to 75 cm in diameter, with a concave heel. Its paste is smooth, ivory to yellow in color, and initially firm on the palate, before melting in the mouth.
At Valfréjus, the Beaufort produced is an alpine Beaufort: a cheese made at high altitude from a single herd.