Production of Vacherin Mont d'Or takes place in the Massif du Mont D'Or, which rises to a height of 4,700ft. near the French-Swiss border. AOC status was granted in 1981 and, as such, maturation must also take place within a designated area, over a period of three weeks, at a temperature no greater that 59°F.
Cheeses are produced only in the winter and spring months and, after being taken out of the molds, are encased with a strip of spruce before being aged on a spruce board. They are turned and rubbed with a cloth soaked in brine, which results in each cheese developing a distinctive and pleasing spruce aroma.
Vacherin Mont d'Or is presented in it's wooden box, in which it continues to ripen. The pleasant scent of the spruce band in which it is encased permeates the cheese and also helps maintain its shape. It should not be removed, rather it is easier to cut a "lid" in the top of the cheese and spoon out its liquidy center. It can also be spread on bread or potatoes.
The surface of the cheese is moist and golden-red in color, sometimes with imprints of the cloth. The yellow paste is creamy and soft.