Piave Cheese DOP

Piave cheese is produced according to the ancient rules of the dairyman’s art, today gathered in “Production Regulations”, using only cow’s milk produced on farms in the province of Belluno, the northernmost tip of the Veneto region, wedged between Trentino Alto Adige to the northwest and Friuli to the east.
Thanks to the production process and the quality of the raw materials used, Piave cheese has obtained the Protected Designation of Origin, the highest recognition of the European Community for quality food products.

What does DOP / PDO mean?

Protected Designation of Origin, better known with the acronym PDO (DOP in Italian), is a mark of quality that protects European Agro-food products of excellent quality.
In order for a cheese to be declared PDO, the production phases and aging must take place in a delimited geographic area, which for Piave, is the province of Belluno.
The producer must follow the strict production rules set forth in the production protocol; the observance of this protocol is guaranteed by a specific control body.
Piave PDO is subject to a Control Plan prepared by SCQA, an agency authorized by the Ministry of Agro-Food Policies.

How and where is it produced?

PIAVE cheese is produced by adding to the milk produced in the Belluno territory specific milk starter cultures and whey starter cultures which are also produced locally, respectively from raw milk and from whey containing enzymes belonging to autochthonous  strains, which are fundamental for giving the product its specific organoleptic properties.
Following coagulation through the addition of rennet, the curd is cooked and placed in moulds; then salted by immerging the wheels in a saline solution.
Finally, the cheese is aged in warehouses at controlled temperature and humidity.
The aging of the cheese varies depending on the type being produced: 20 to 60 days for Piave Fresco, 61 to 180 days for Piave Mezzano, over 180 days for Piave Vecchio, more than 12 months for Piave Vecchio Selezione Oro and more than 18 months for Piave Riserva. Each of these types can boast the protected designation of origin.
The area for the collection of the milk and for the production of the Piave DOP cheese, delimited by law, is exclusively the Province of Belluno.