Hard cheese history

Where the most appraised Estonian cheese is made?

Võrumaa county is located in Southern Estonia, famous for its picturesque and diverse landscape, forest covered hillocks alternated with lakes and lush pastures. This is the origin of our pure Nordic milk – the magic ingredient of our products.

Valio Estonia’s cheese plant is located in its historic capital Võru. Võru cheese plant’s traditions stretch back to the 1968, which make the factory the most experienced cheese producers in our country.

Today we have a modern, large enterprise that employs over 400 people. Monthly, we produce on average 700 tons of cheese, including hard, semi-hard and processed cheese.

Our masterpieces derive from our passion for Italian hard cheese: Forte and Gran Regale – born from a unique Italian-Estonian cooperation.

Valio is Estonia’s market leader and the country’s largest cheese exporter. Our delicious cheeses are enjoyed throughout the world: Italy, USA, Russia, Japan, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Hungary etc.

In addition to its outstanding position in The Baltics, Valio is also Finland’s largest dairy. With a tradition stretching back over 100 years, Valio is among the 10 largest dairy cooperatives in Europe. The R&D department’s achievements in products and technology innovation have also been awarded with the Nobel Prize. Valio Estonia is BRC, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified and is also observing HACCP quality standards.

Our hard cheese: result of Estonian-Italian synergy

Imagine combining the best hard cheese making know-how with one of the purest environments in Europe. This exceptional meeting happened in the late 90’s, when Võru cheese plant was visited by one of the largest Italian producers of Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano; they discovered the Estonian qualitative, pure milk.

The result of this unique synergy was a true success: Forte hard cheese was born. Later, it was even offered at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Sales grew steadily all over Europe and not only – the biggest achievement has been Italy becoming our largest export market. What better testament to our cheese’s taste and quality.

Following the positive wave, investments were made to develop a new great product with a white grainy structure, vibrant flavour and mildly pungent smell: Gran Regale.