Known and recognized as one of the reference alpine destinations for decades and a land of contrasts combining wide open spaces and modern chalets, resourcing and activities, La Clusaz can be discovered in many ways.
Imagine an international alpine resort, in the heart of the protected environment of the Alps, where the sweetness of life and dynamism would be your pleasure… Source of fresh air and immense playground, La Clusaz unfolds its virgin spaces, out of nature. Located at the foot of the Aravis mountain range, the resort has managed to cultivate its character traits while projecting itself into the future. Thanks to its preserved environment and its numerous treasures, it is a world apart that welcomes you.
Like all good things, La Clusaz can be discovered at the rhythm of your desires and encounters, to surprise you at the bend of a path, during an aperitif time, at the exit of a restaurant or during a treatment with mountain plants…
La Clusaz is located at an altitude of 1040 meters. The village has remarkable viewpoints, such as the Aravis pass with its view of the Mont Blanc. The relief is rather tormented because of erosion, which led to the formation of suspended valleys called combes: the combe de Balme, de Torchère, des Juments, du Fernuy. La Clusaz is also a ski resort whose ski area is spread over 4 massifs: Balme, Aiguille, Etale and Beauregard.
The word Clusaz comes from cluse which means “passage between two mountains”. There are several explanations for the addition of the “z”.
- For aesthetic reasons, the employees of the land registry would have added this letter in order to finish the name of the village with a small arabesque.
- The second explanation is to be found in the Franco-Provençal language, which includes the Savoyard dialect. A “z” was placed after a letter in order to emphasize that the latter is not pronounced, is atonic, which naturally leads to an accentuation of the penultimate syllable. The old people pronounce “La Clus'”.
THE SMALL HISTORY OF THE EMBLEM
To understand the origin of this emblem, it is necessary to talk about the end of the year 1601. The Duke of Savoy, Charles-Emmanuel I, visited the inhabitants of La Clusaz for the first time. He took the opportunity to raise the village to the rank of a town, granted the inhabitants the right to hold a weekly market, two annual fairs in spring and autumn. This was important because the market was very lucrative. Every merchant had to pay a fee to sell his products on the stall. The two fairs made it possible to regulate the livestock of the commune. The farmers could sell animals before winter and buy them before summer, a period during which they could feed more animals.
On this occasion, La Clusaz was given an emblem which was originally a silver sheep in sinople. Translation: white sheep on a green background crossed by a diagonal. In a coat of arms, the vert is the green color. It is presented in engraving by diagonal lines.
WHY A RAM ?
It turns out that the first vocation of La Clusaz was pastoral activity. Since ancient times, shepherds have brought their flocks to the green meadows of La Clusaz to enjoy the fresh grass and pure air of our mountains. The sheep is also the symbol of gentleness and belief. The inhabitants of La Clusaz had the reputation of being very pious.
Découvrir le patrimoine de La Clusaz
In the 13th century, the farmers of the Aravis massif paid the rent of their mountain pastures in proportion to the milk production. When the owner came to measure the milk production, the farmer did an incomplete milking. As soon as he left, the farmer would re-milk, that is, finish milking the cows. This second milking milk, fatter, gave a creamy cheese: the Reblochon!
Faithful descendant of this tradition, the Reblochon fermier is a cheese made with raw milk, made by hand, on the farm and twice a day after milking. The milk comes from the only herd on the farm, mainly from the Abondance breed. The Aravis, the historical cradle of its flavor, concentrates most of the production.
The elaboration of the farmhouse Reblochon respects a demanding know-how: as soon as the milking is over, rennet is added to the milk (around 33°C) which makes it curdle. The curd obtained is then reduced in small pieces, with the help of a “curd cutter”, then distributed in molds covered with a linen cloth. A green casein tablet (edible) is then placed on each cheese: it indicates the farm origin of the Reblochon, the number of the producer who makes it and thus allows the traceability of the product. The cheeses are then placed in the drying room, on spruce boards, and then spend at least 2 weeks in the maturing cellar. They are then turned over every day.
The farmhouse Reblochon cheese benefits from the Protected Designation of Origin, which delimits the production areas and guarantees the traditional processes of breeding, manufacturing and maturing. In France, only 48 PDO cheeses are thus bearers of tradition, common sense and popular wisdom. In 2018, Reblochon celebrated its 60 years of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée.
In spring and summer, the cows in the mountain pastures graze on grass rich in mountain flowers. This is when the flavor of Reblochon cheese peaks! But all year long, its smoothness competes with its inimitable aromas of cream and hay. Served with a rustic bread and a well-balanced wine (white wine from Savoie or red wine from the Jacquère grape variety), it is the tender favorite of the plateau. It also excels in new recipes, such as Savoyard cookies. For your next aperitif? Two hours before tasting it, take it out of the bottom of the refrigerator and its original packaging.
DECADES OF CHAMPIONS
La Clusaz has a great tradition of champions and sporting achievements in all disciplines of alpine and nordic skiing! Champions who have passed through the Sports Club, which has made La Clusaz the most starred resort in France with more than a dozen world champions.