As envisaged by the Production Regulations, the milk used to make Piave DOP cheese comes exclusively from the province of Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy and at least 80% is produced with milk from breeds of cattle typical of the production area: the Bruna Italiana, the Grigio Alpina, the Pezzata Rossa Italiana and the Frisona Italiana.
The breeding methods are based on traditional criteria, characterised by the link between the breed of cattle and the territory: free housing is often practised, sometimes with grazing in mountain pastures during the summer months, and feeding using the cheapest and most abundant local staple, stable multi-grass meadow fodder, mostly grown wild, supplemented with excellent quality cereals and grains.
Compliance with these parameters, set out in the Production Regulations, is guaranteed by CSQA, the body recognised for the certification of Piave DOP by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.
The coat of these cows is either uniformly brown or variable from grey to chestnut. A hardy and docile breed, suitable for mountain environments, over the years it has become popular for the production of milk which is very suitable for cheese-making thanks to its high casein profile and high fat content.
These cows have a pale silver coat with darker shading around the eyes. This breed of cattle is native to the Alpine region. Its use was abandoned in the past due to its lower productivity, but in recent years it has been rediscovered for its hardiness and adaptability to mountain terrain. This hardy, medium-sized animal, with a strong instinct to seek out forage even on harsh pastures, has proved particularly well-suited to the exploitation of the area’s natural resources.
Pezzata Rossa Italiana
Italian Red Piebald
The coat is red piebald, darker in males and lighter in females and young animals; the head, tail, belly and lower legs are white. Native to the Triveneto region, this breed is very hardy and extremely adaptable, especially to mountainous environments.
Its coat is either black piebald or red piebald. Native to the Po Valley, it is widespread throughout Northern Italy. It is not particularly well-suited to meat production but is characterised by its high milk yield.