Unique flavours, remarkable maturing in marc de Bourgogne, classic aromas, the sign of great wealth, Époisses Protected Designation of Origin, a soft washed rind cheese, it can be eaten all year long. Simplicity and uniqueness make this cheese an exceptional product. A delicacy on the palate!

Created by a religious order in the heart of Burgundy more than 500 years ago and known as the “king of all cheeses" in the 19th century, Époisses is testimony of long-standing cheese traditions. Recognised with a Controlled Designation of Origin in 1991, its production using whole cow’s milk remains loyal to specific know-how passed on for five centuries by passionate producers.

The richness of the Époisses Protected Designation of Origin sector has as much to do with the quality of the cheese as the dairy professionals’ determination to practice an overall sustainable development policy.

Epoisses - Qualité et saveur optimum en 18 points de contrôle-en

Operators must be approved for milk production or processing in the Protected Designation of Origin of the Époisses cheese and are subject to internal and external controls each year to verify that the specifications are being observed. The internal control is conducted by agents authorised by the Association for the Defence of Époisses. The external control is performed by Certipaq, an independent certifying authority. The controls are particularly based on the following points:

The behaviour and diet of the dairy cattle herd (controlled at the farm)

1/ Geographic situation: the rearing houses and forage land must be situated in the Protected Designation of Origin area.
2/ Cow races: only the Brune, Montbéliarde and Simmental races are authorised.
3/ Spring pasture: grazed grass or distributed fresh grass must represent at least half of the dairy cows’ diet.
4/ Dry and concentrated foods: Coarse fodder – in winter – represents more than 30% of the diet of dairy cows and concentrates, less than 30%.
5/ Food self-sufficiency: the portion of food from the Protected Designation of Origin area must represent at least 85% of the total diet of the dairy cattle herd. All fodder must be from the appellation area.
6/ Foods used: A list of authorised foods is defined in the specifications. GMOs are prohibited.
7/ Fertilisation of the pastures: When organic fertiliser is spread on the pastures it must be recorded and the quantities integrated too. Poultry effluents are prohibited on the farm.

Milk quality (raw material control)

8/ The physical-chemical quality of the milk: the fat and protein content of the milk in production tanks are controlled three times per month.
9/ Undesirable germs: the population of sanitary and undesirable germs (Listeria, E. Coli, etc.) in the milk in the tanks is controlled once or three times a month depending on the germs.
Contrôle à la ferme

Production of Époisses (factory controls)

10/ Geographic situation: the processing and ripening houses must be situated in the Protected Designation of Origin area.
11/ Milk origin: the milk must come from authorised cattle in Epoisses.
12/ Production: the milk collected from approved farms must be sent to production on the day of collection. It must be non-homogenised, non-concentrated whole full milk.
13/ Coagulation period: the milk coagulation after pressurisation must be at least 16 hours.
14/ Cheese salting: once drained, the cheese must be salted with dry salt.
15/ Ripening period and conditions: the ripening lasts at least four weeks beginning on the date it enters production. During this period, the cheese must be washed once or three times a week with water and marc de Bourgogne brandy.
Contrôle en atelier

Cheese quality (control of the finished product)

16/ The physical-chemical quality of the cheese: the fat content in the dry matter and dry extracts are controlled for each production.
17/ Undesirable germs: the population of sanitary and undesirable germs (Listeria, E. Coli, etc.) is controlled throughout the processing period for each production. These analyses are known as liberating as the cheese does not leave the cheese factory until compliant.
18/ Organoleptic quality: organoleptic exams are performed every three months by an independent panel under the auspices of the certifying authority. The Époisses cheeses are judged as far as the appearance and taste.

In addition, the cheese factories regularly conduct internal control samplings.


    Fromagerie Germain (52160, Chalancey) wins a silver medal for its époisses 250g at the national competition, and a bronze medal at the export competition for its époisses 250g too.

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