It was around the year 1135 that the Benedictine monks of the flat, fertile valley of the River Po in Northern Italy created an original masterpiece: an absolutely innovative recipe for transforming surplus milk into a fine, delicious cheese, with an intense flavour that stood the test of time.

In view of its “granular” structure, it was natural to call this cheese “Grana”. This is how Grana Padano, with its unmistakable flavour, was born.

The basic ingredient of Grana Padano PDO cheese is raw milk. The strict dairy practices laid down by the production specifications for Grana Padano PDO cheese, which include precise regulations for the feeding of the cattle, require the use only of fresh Italian milk, which gives every wheel its unique flavour and nutritional values.

In accordance with the original recipe, unchanged for almost a thousand years, Grana Padano PDO is made from partially-skimmed milk obtained exclusively from cows within a clearly defined production area specified in the production specifications, following a meticulous maturation process that develops its unmistakable aroma.

Grana Padano P.D.O. Cheese Protection Consortium

Established in 1954, the Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano PDO cheese – Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano – is a non-profit organisation that brings together producers and maturers to protect and promote Grana Padano PDO cheese in the world.

It ensures that every wheel of cheese is made according to the Production Specifications so that it can be awarded its PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status and be fire-branded with the Grana Padano mark.

Appointed by the Italian Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry and based in Desenzano del Garda, in the heart of the Grana Padano production area, the Consortium is charged with protecting, promoting and enhancing the product, providing consumer information and generally taking care of the interests regarding its PDO status. It also supervises and safeguards Grana Padano PDO cheese, in Italy and abroad, from abuse, unfair competition, imitation, improper use of the designation and any other behaviour forbidden by law during all stages of production, transformation and trade.

P.D.O. Protected Designation of Origin

In order to be a PDO product, all stages of processing and transformation must take place in a defined geographical area. Every producer of Grana Padano must therefore strictly observe the regulations provided by the Production Specifications, approved by the European Union.

The regulations establish the cows’ diet, define the production and milk supply area and meticulously regulate every stage of the production. After nine months of ageing, each wheel undergoes strict tests for appearance, aroma and texture, before receiving the characteristic fire branding. This important step is carried out by an independent certification body and the Consortium’s technicians.

The PDO logo must appear on the packaging of Grana Padano cheese in portions and grated form. This logo was specifically created by the European Union to mark products of Protected Designation of Origin.

Reproduction of this logo certifies that the European Union has awarded Protected Designation of Origin status to Grana Padano cheese, granted in 1996. Thanks to PDO mark, Grana Padano is fully recognised as one of those highly appreciated products, which offer consumers very high-quality standards.