Asiago Stagionato PDO

Protected Designation of Origin since 1996

Asiago Stagionato is a semi-fat hard cheese with a semi-cooked curd and originates from the Alpine plateau of the same name. It has a smooth, regular rind, compact or granular texture and a pale yellowish color with sparse small or medium eyes. According to the degree of ageing it is characterized by a milder (Mezzano) or more characteristic, sharp and fragrant flavor (Vecchio)
Asiago Stagionato PDO
Protected Designation of Origin

Asiago Stagionato

  • Average weight of a wheel: 9 Kg
  • Diameter: 30-36 cm
  • Height: 9-12 cm
  • Stagionato: from 2 to 4 months
  • Mezzano: from 4 to 10 months
  • Vecchio: over 10 months
  • Stravecchio: over 15 months

The ageing of Asiago Stagionato requires at least two months and must take place in the area of origin under conditions of controlled storage temperature and relative humidity. On the basis of the degree of ageing the cheese is called:

  • Asiago Stagionato mezzano, aged for between 4 and 6 months: a full but still mild flavor;
  • Asiago Stagionato vecchio, aged for 10-15 months: a shaper, slightly piquant flavor;
  • Asiago Stagionato stravecchio, aged for over 15 months: intense, rich flavors.

A flavorsome cheese has been produced on the Asiago Plateau from which it takes its name since the year 1000. Initially sheep’s milk was used, but from 1500, with the progressive expansion of cattle farming on the plateau, the primary ingredient has been exclusively cow’s milk. As cheesemaking techniques developed, production expanded in the early 17th Century to the areas adjacent to the Asiago Plateau: the area at the foot of the mountains, the neighboring plains and the close-by malghe or mountain pastures of the Trentino region. The Asiago with the oldest roots, closest to the traditions of the cheesemakers of the plateau is the Stagionato version with its more intense, enveloping flavor. The mild, soft flavor of this cheese has helped its international popularity.

Asiago Stagionato is produced in an area that ranges from the irrigated flatlands of the Padana plain to the mountain pastures of the Asiago Plateau and the Trentino region. The milk production and Asiago PDO cheesemaking area comprises four provinces: Vicenza, Trento and parts of Padua and Treviso. This represents the area in which Asiago cheese was originally made, the Asiago Plateau and surrounding districts in which production of the cheese is widespread. Asiago cheese produced with farmhouse milk entirely processed at an altitude of over 600 metres may also be promoted as a “Mountain Product”.

Only Asiago cheese produced in this area is authentic Asiago PDO cheese.

Milk processing

Partially skimmed cow’s milk obtained by separation is used to produce Asiago Stagionato cheese. Coagulation is achieved with the addition of an enzyme of bovine origin, rennet, at a temperature of around 35° C.

Cutting of the curd

A spino or curd knife is used to cut the curd. The process continues until the curd is reduced to grains of a size similar to a hazelnut.


In the scalding phase, the curd is heated to a temperature of around 47° C.

Extraction of the curd

The curd is transferred to a work bench.

Molding and binding

The next stage in the process involves the molding and binding of the wheels and the application of casein plaques identifying each wheel with a progressive number.

PDO labelling

After a number of hours, the wheels are turned over and branding molds are used to impress the Asiago PDO mark on the sides.

Cooling and salting

The cheese is kept for at least two days under controlled temperature (10-15° C) and humidity (80-85%) conditions before dry or brine salting is completed.


Ageing is the final phase in the process and requires at least two months and must take place in the area of origin in conditions of controlled temperature and relative humidity. On the basis of the degree of ageing the cheese is called Asiago Stagionato mezzano, Asiago Stagionato vecchio or Asiago Stagionato stravecchio.

Asiago Stagionato is a product that is much appreciated for its unique qualities and the distinctive flavor differentiating it from any other mature cheese. It may provide up to 50% of one’s daily protein requirements, providing protein with a high biological value.

An excellent table cheese (Asiago Stagionato may also be grated), Asiago is suitable for a quick antipasto on its own or accompanied by cold cuts and eggs. It is also recommended as an after dinner cheese, either on its own or with fresh fruit (for example, sliced pears).

It combines well with honey, chutneys and jams and is excellent in sophisticated pairings.

Asiago Stagionato may be kept in a refrigerator at 8/9°C or wrapped in a cloth and stored in a suitable room at 10/15° C. It may be consumed up to a month after purchase.