Cows in Aosta Valley
The Valdostane breed of cattle and is distinguished by its rustic appearance and dual production purpose: meat and milk.
They are particularly agile cattle on mountain terrain, suited to difficult climates, resistant to illnesses, live long and breed easily.
The red spotted Valdostana, like the other spotted red breeds populating the base of Monte Bianco, probably derives its name from black and white cattle from Northern Europe, introduced in Valle d’Aosta by the Burgundians towards the end of the V century, boasts the production of much appreciated milk, if compared with the size of its specimens and the difficult, environmental breeding conditions.
The black and brown spotted Valdostana represent, with their Hérens cousins raised in Switzerland, the cattle group which originally inhabited the Alps and is probably derived from the brachycephalic breeds.
The coat of the black spotted breed is characterised by the presence of black and white pigments distinctly distributed to form the classical size and by a star on the forehead which is generally very visible
Fontina, the famous DOP cheese, is produced exclusively with milk from the Valdostane breed, which feed on forage and local herbs.
The other two breeds, the Valdostane dappled black and the chestnut cow breed, characterised by a vivacious and warlike temperament, lead them to fight in spring battles, to establish the hierarchy of the herd.