Gailtaler Almkäse g.U. a culinary Alpine treat

Historical facts

The first references to alpine pastures with adjoining cheese dairies date back to the the Count of Görz in 1375 to 1381. These references clearly mention the production of cheese on the alpine pastures in Gail- and Lesachtal.

Due to heavy combat in the area during World War I several alpine dairies were severely damaged and had to be rebuilt. The rebuilt dairies conform with the requirements for alpine cheese production and since then have been giving distinction to the alpine and cultural landscape of Gailtal.

1949 down to the present day

In 1949, 39 alpine dairies were still active in the Gail Valley. In order to steer the development of the alpine pasture management and to be able to better solve the difficulties connected with it in the future, the "Association of Alpine Cheese Dairies in Carinthia" was founded with its headquarters in Kötschach.

Due to the structural change in agriculture and the intensification of grassland in the valley from the 1960s the alpine pastures, and thus the Alpine dairies, increasingly lost their importance. During this time there were around twenty alpine dairies of which were further reduced to seven active dairies in the 1970s.

A shift towards eco-friendly farming oriented towards high quality produce, along with corresponding support through the public sector, have contributed to alpine pastures and dairies rebounding in recent years. The alpine cheese dairies in the Gail Valley has since exposed the tourist potential of the alpine cultural landscape and the increasing trend towards the production of naturally produced farm foods. Further information....

The alpine cheese dairies in the association "Gailtaler Almkäse g.U."

Egger Alm, Watschiger Alm, Tressdorfer Alm, Rudniger Alm, Tröpolacher Alm, Rattendorfer Alm, Klein Kordin Alm, Straniger Alm, Waidegger Alm, Achornacher Alm, Bischof Alm, Großfrondell Alm, Joch Alm. Further info on the mentioned alpine cheese dairies ...

Culinary alpine treats

The many products of the alpine cheese dairies have become a staple of alpine breakfasts, lunches and dinners along the Karnischer Höhenweg. Huts along the KHW offer the trade-marked Gailtaler Almkäse g.U. cheese, smoked cheese (Schotten), speck, cheese and meat spreads, patés, yoghurt and many more freshly produced delicacies during the summer months. Further information to products and events….


The first cut of the cheese happens in July which is always celebrated with an alpine fest. Find info, dates and further news here ...

Photos and videos

To get an idea about events, festivals and award-winning products visit these galleries ....

Cheese festival Kötschach-Mauthen

Hot tip: The cheese festival marks the yearly conclusion of the alpine cheese making season. For over 20 years cheese producers and cheese lovers of the central alpine region continue to meet on the last weekend in September in Kötschach-Mauthen to celebrate this culinary event.

Contact and information