It all started in 1981, when ten sheep’s milk farmers from the Garazi canton decided to merge their milk supply, form a co-operative and make their own cheese.
At the time it was an ambitious project which was supported by Pierre Harymbat, a priest and cheese producer which resulted in the building of the “Fromagerie des Bergers de Saint Michel” on the mountainside, of Saint Michel close to Saint Jean Pied de Port, in the heart of the Basque Country.
Today the creamery belongs to the second generation of associated farmers and collect the sheep’s milk of 35 farmers located in a 30 km radius, all committed to the label quality AOP Ossau Iraty, working only with the local sheep breed (Manech Tête Noire, Manech Tête Rousse, Basco-Béarnaise), well adapted, to the daily pasture and to the summer transhumance in the mountains.
We have always been passionate supporters of the production of the raw milk cheese AOP Ossau Iraty, for more than 15 years we have been the driving force behind the production of organic local sheep’s milk sourced from 10 organic farms.
On top of the official quality labels, our know how and that of our partners the milk farmers allows the milk’s natural bacterial flora to work during the refining process to develop a richness of aromas that only the natural bio diversity can produce.
The red crust of our cheeses also develops naturally during the refining due to the very specific microbial flora which is naturally present in our cellar.
A small artisanal creamery in the local milk business which is proud to remain true to its principles and carry on the traditions of the older generations.