Fontina PDO

The cheese

Fontina PDO is Aosta Valley: an indissoluble bond.

Fontina PDO is a Protected Designation of Origin cheese with a milky aroma, a sweet taste and a soft, elastic and melt-in-the-mouth texture. This is the “textbook” definition, but Fontina PDO is much more: let’s discover it together.


Fontina PDO is exclusively produced in Aosta Valley. It results from a combination of factors that make it truly unique, among cheeses, starting with: whole, raw milk processed as soon as possible after milking and obtained from selected cattle breeds, i.e. Valdostana Pezzata Rossa, Valdostana Pezzata Nera and Castana, fed on alpine grass in summer and hay in winter. Its secret? In Fontina PDO, its producers know how to intensify all the flavours and aromas of Aosta Valley milk.

The name Fontina is definitely ancient

Its origin is lost in time: some trace it back to its alpine pasture of origin, Fontin, others to the village of Fontinaz. Others trace the etymology back to the property of the cheese paste to melt easily with the heat.


It is certainly mentioned in the first texts in which it is found as early as the 15th century, although its first classification came much later, at the end of the 19th century. The designation of origin, on the other hand, is more contemporary and appears in 1955.

To the palate and to the eye, it has a rather soft texture, ivory or straw yellow in colour, more or less intense depending on the maturation period. Its characteristic eyes are scattered and sparse. Fontina PDO melts in the mouth, its taste is pleasant; the aroma is delicate and buttery when the wheels are young, while in the more mature ones it acquires fruity and delicate nutty tones.


In the 1960s, Italian agriculture underwent a revolution in the zootechnical-dairy sector. The dairy industry adopted new techniques for both processing and marketing, not to the detriment of traditional production, which developed by aiming to maintain typicality and protecting them with quality marks.


The production and marketing of Fontina PDO is supervised by the Consortium of Producers and Protection of Fontina PDO.


  • 700 breeding farms

  • 80 producers


  • 200 mountain pastures

  • 2,600 metres

    maximum altitude of the mountain pastures

  • 40 maturers

  • 9 portioners - packers

  • 3 breeds

    Aosta Valley cattle

  • 2 milking

    per day

  • 48° C

    semi-cooking temperature

  • 80 days

    minimum maturing time

  • 5 - 12 °C

    temperature of the maturing rooms

  • over 90 %

    relative humidity in the maturing rooms

  • 7,5-12 kg

    is the weight of Fontina PDO

The Fontina

Quality certified by the controlling body

The Fontina PDO is guaranteed by the activity of the control body, which is a third party and authorised by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy (MIPAAF).  The activity is inherent to compliance with the production specification and controls are carried out throughout the production chain.


Following the positive outcome of the inspections, an authorization to mark the products suitable for the PDO is issued. Only after this authorization does the Consortium proceed with the activity of expertise of the lots and subsequent marking.

The control body currently appointed for the ‘Fontina’ PDO industry is Bureau Veritas Italia SpA’, based in Milan, Viale Monza 347;