With the same precision with which a jeweller puts the finishing touches to his creations, Hansi Baumgartner refines his cheeses, recognized internationally as among the finest. From Varna in South Tyrol, he began his career as a cook in the family restaurant alongside his brothers Karl and Sigfried.
Gastronomy and Wine Cheese
Very soon, however, it was not just the techniques of cooking that he chose to hone, but also the passion he had cultivated since his youth as a hobby: the fascinating world of cheese making. With his profound knowledge of the art, he is able to enhance the natural essence of the cheese, exalting its qualities through techniques that heighten its olfactory and gustatory characteristics. In 1994, Baumgartner the affineur founded, together with his wife Edith, a company called DEGUST. It should be pointed out that everything ‘took shape’ in an old military bunker, originally used for the storage of weapons and munitions, which proved an ideal location for the aging of cheeses, especially those made with raw milk from mountain pastures. In these rooms, with their controlled temperature and humidity, Baumgartner was able to rediscover the flavour of the old times, the authenticity of ancient methods brought back to memory along with a bucolic taste for living in harmony with nature and the seasons.
In each period of the year the work takes on different aspects linked to the needs of the folcks and herds, which find their fullest expression in stalling and transhumance. Hansi Baumgartner’s meticulous work marries rigour and passion; it is a matter of feeling in tune with nature, with creativity. Surprising combinations, stemming from careful study, come out of a balance of taste and technique. Nowadays, Baumgartner collaborates with various centres of excellence, from schools to restaurants, reviving an ancient craft that only a few masters like him are able to hand down.