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MonS Fromages, from train wheels to cheese wheels

It has been more than half a century since the “Tacot” has been running through the Vichy-Roanne railway tunnel. The small French convoy stopped working for good years after World War II. Six decades later, the historic vaults of the “Tunnel de la Collonge” house wheels that have nothing to do with the world of trains. They are cheeses that rest patiently until they reach the right degree of ripeness.

Hervé Mons, an internationally renowned cheesemaker and the soul of MonS Fromages, has played a key role in transforming this unique space into one of the best cheese cellars.
Belonging to the second generation
of a family devoted to cheese, Hervé
Mons is a master refiner and an expert in
refining techniques, i.e. in controlling the
temperature, humidity and air flow to get
the best of each cheese.

In 2000, Hervé Mons
was awarded the title of
“Meilleur Ouvrier de France”
(Best Craftsman in France) in a
prestigious contest organised by

MonS, the alchemy of refining
The “Tunnel de la Collonge”, at Ambierle, is the most special, though not the only one of its cellars. The SaintHaon-le-Châtel and Perpetaz cellars round off the spaces where Hervé Mons uses an original and patented refining method that allows him to achieve unique cheeses.

His highly personal definition for this primary stage of cheese making includes terms such as alchemy, experience, generosity, accuracy, curiosity, learning, emotion ... It is about creating optimum conditions for the cheese to develop texture, aromas and rind, whereas during this process the figure of the refiner must bring along more than just experience and knowledge; they must also have a special intuition or sixth sense that allows them to identify that precise moment when the cheese has reached its highest values.
The cheeses made by MonS Fromages are seasonal varieties, where time and environmental conditions play a key role for them to express their full flavour.
Up to 250 different varieties may simultaneously ripen under the guidance of Hervé Mons. His achievements have been recognised by gourmets, for whom every cheese that MonS Fromages refines, selects and markets is tantamount to quality and guarantees a great tasting experience.

The prestige gained by the firm has enabled its internationalisation, and at present MonS Fromages, led by Hervé and his brother Laurent, has extended the export area and even boasts facilities and ripening spaces outside France, such as in the United Kingdom.

MonS, the world of cheese from start to finish.

The Mons family started selling cheese on the French travelling markets, but Hervé has not stopped at selecting, refining and marketing varieties, hence MonS Fromages has ended up extending its facets to the production of its own natural dairy products, without preservatives or synthetic flavours.

With great respect for the work of local producers and traditional ways of doing things, the company collects organic milk from farms in the area to control the transfer quality in detail and guarantee the raw material's freshness.

By MonS Fromages we can taste delicious yogurts as well as special cheeses such as Saint-Nectaire, a tender and delicate variety from the Auvergne region, in France, which had gradually disappeared due to a unique aspect: it can only be made from milk of local Salers cows, which only provide milk if the calves are near them, which limits its collection and, therefore, its mass production.

MonS Fromages' determination to preserve such exceptional specialties as Saint-Nectaire is yet another example of the understanding and respect that Hervé Mons and his team have for the concept of terroir and their passion for the unfathomable world of cheese.

The well-being of producer families and their livestock is one of the priorities for MonS Fromages.