Cheese-ripening cellars

Pre-fab construction made of reinforced concrete sections form a vaulted ceiling resting on four corner columns.
Kits can be combined together to cover large surfaces and, in this case, the corner columns support several vaults.

Available in two different arch sizes with customizable height.

* Please note: For safety reasons, the fitting and assembly of the pre-fab structure must be carried out by construction professionals.

Creating optimal conditions to ripen cheese

Who Can Do More, Can Do Less

Claude Querry, site manager for Fromageries Petite in Pontarlier, France, talking about their extension at the Fort Saint-Antoine:

“We have continued in the direction begun by Marcel Petit in the 1960s. He placed his bets on slow ripening at low temperatures to create high-quality Comté cheese. To make an excellent, natural cheese with a long shelf life, he took advantage of everything an empty underground military fort built at the end of the 19th century could offer. At the time, it was totally unheard of. Two generations later, Marcel’s grandson, Lionel Petite, is just as determined as his grandfather. He has chosen to invest heavily in building new bioclimatic cellars using the vintage fort as a model: three years of labor, 45,000 hours off masonry and 4,500 tons of pre-fab elements have been assembled.

In the end, we created a 5,000 m2 underground extension—3,500 m2 of that dedicated exclusively to cheese ripening—with 98 columns, precast vaulted ceilings, optimized layout and the invaluable ventilation available through the old subterranean passages. As a result of the rapid transfer of microbes between the older and newer cellars, the outcome of ageing is excellent and significantly surpasses our expectations. Throughout this long and great adventure, Préfa 25 was literally the backbone of the project from the beginning. They were able to integrate new, large-scale structures into a historical building, and had the know-how to duplicate optimal cheese-ripening conditions.”

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