Here, the term cave aged for once is not misused
Cresta ripens underneath the healthy soil of the same named forest. And the natural stone cave has turned out to be a perfect aging room.
Of course there’s other cheeses that ripen in cellars. But without a doubt there’s none other than the Cresta that gets to age in a natural stone cellar with an entrance hidden behind two metal doors of some governmental station, in the midst of a forest and directly underneath a massive dam holding the water of Sufner See (lake Sufers). The perfect conditions this cave offers for the cheeses - a steady humidity and constant temperatures between 44 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit - makes, at least for producer Dionis Zinsli, up for the inconvenience of bringing the wheels down from his tiny dairy to the cellar.
The Cresta is a seasonal cheese only made from October to May. During this time the five herds of cows that produce the organic milk for Cresta graze on the meadows surrounding Sufers, a village with less than 130 inhabitants on 4,200 feet altitude. Sufers is located in the Rheinwald region of the Graubünden canton, not far from the Italian border and the Ticino canton.
Cresta has a fine and dry rind and a compact paste with a creamy mouthfeel. Even though it could be enjoyed at a much earlier age, Zinsli likes to keep the Cresta in its spectacular cave at least a year. By then, the cheese is full flavored and comes with that little kick that makes well matured mountain cheeses so unique and charming.