Another important stage of production is the “washing” of the cheeses. During this phase, it’s man’s hand that contributes to shaping the soul of the cheese.
The cheeses are all washed by hand in brine (a mixture of salt and water). Depending on the type of cheese, the brine is enriched, with Marc de Bourgogne for Epoisses, or with Chablis wine for Plaisir au Chablis.
This operation is repeated between five and ten times, involves several different people and demands a high level of dexterity.
As the cheese goes through its washes, its natural colour is gradually revealed. This colour, which can vary from ivory with orange hints to brick red, develops due to the action of the starter culture (Brevibacterium Linens; small bacteria that develop on the surface, giving the cheese its colour).
The use of colourants is forbidden, so the appearance of the colouration is entirely natural.
When these processes are completed, the “maturing” of the cheese begins.
It takes between 3 and 6 weeks, with a legal minimum of 29 days for the Epoisses cheese. This maturing takes place in special rooms where the temperature and humidity are strictly controlled (where we have recreated the natural atmosphere of our cellars: cool, damp and airy).
During this period, the natural enzymes and cultures encourage the aromas and colours of each variety of cheese to develop naturally.