Our secrets of making Basque cheeses
Sites on a human scale
The Cheese Factory of Hélette
Cradle of the Maison Agour, created in 1981. A site of 10 000 m², including 5000 m² of maturing cellars. With a focus on innovation, the site has been equipped with maturing lanes with a capacity of 66,000 cheeses. It is equipped with an automatic machine capable of turning over the cheeses, brushing them and rubbing them with morge (a salt water-based preparation for treating the rinds) in less than a day. The site is also equipped with three packaging lines. Immerse yourself in the magic of tradition and come discover our Museum of Cheese and Pastoralism in Hélette.
The ecological cheese factory of Irati (Mendive)
Operational since 2009, it represents today 15% of the production. The Irati model cheese factory was conceived with the development and preservation of the territory in mind. First objective: to enhance the production of the valley's shepherds to ensure the sustainability of future generations. Second objective: to make this site a model in terms of respect for the environment (recyclable materials, energy optimization, landscape integration, etc.).
A Research & Development unit
At the heart of the Irati ecological cheese factory, the R&D unit tests new recipes to enrich the range, improve quality... It designs the products of tomorrow within a human-sized establishment. Come and visit this cheese dairy located in an exceptional natural setting.
Today, 1500 farmers, most of them in the Basque Country, live from the production of sheep's milk in Bearn and the Basque Country. The average size of the Agour producers is smaller than the average of the department. Through its milk payment system, Agour perpetuates the agriculture of the Basque mountains.