Switzerland is a landlocked county surrounded by high mountains, but these craggy cliff faces allow for a temperate climate, which is probably the most satisfactory condition in which to make cheese. Mountains have pure water systems trickling down into the valleys and valuable minerals that feed the soil. This partially explains why cheeses like EMMENTHAL SUISSE are so delicious, especially when they are made high up in the hills during the summer months. From the 13th century onwards, grazing rights and animal rights-of-way have been complex and have led to the eventual privatisation of communal grazing land, driving many cheesemakers to other European plains and oversees to America and Australia. For many generations the right to use an Alp has been handed down within the family and is owned by a single family or two families of an Alp co-operative. All the Alps are 'geyser', meaning that only a certain number of cows or other animals are allowed to graze during the summer in order to protect the land.