In addition to the headquarters in Saint-Christophe, the cooperative has six ripening cellars carved into the rock, with a total storage capacity of approximately 150,000 cheeses. Most of the warehouses were derived from military depots used during the Second World War, except for the Valpelline warehouse, aPDOted from an old copper mine, exploited until 1946. Even today, the cheese is moved using the tracks that were previously used for transporting the mineral ore.
The environmental conditions of the warehouses are distinguished by a very high relative humidity (> 90%) and by a constant temperature of around 10 °C throughout the year.
A total of about sixty people operate the six ageing warehouses, and deal with the various operations that ensure the cheese ripening, alternating of salting, turning over and manual brushing of the cheese.
The platforms on which cheeses are stored are strictly made of spruce (Picea excelsa), as per tradition.
It is a tunnel initially built for the maintenance of an underground power supply channel of a power plant; later it was expanded by the German army during World War II in order to turn it into a factory of ball bearings, as protection against bombing. Used by the Cooperative for cheese ripening since 1971, it was contributed by members above the lower Valle d'Aosta. Its total storage capacity is about 20,000 cheeses.
There are twin warehouses in Issogne, which is about 10 km away. The tunnel was built for the same needs and has the same features and infrastructure. It differs in the capacity (18,000 cheeses) and the period from which the Cooperative started using it, which dates back to 1994.
It was the first warehouse to be used by the Cooperative and is located about 1,000 meters above sea level, at the fork leading to the hills of Piccolo San Bernardo, on State Road 26, almost at the entrance of the village, opposite the sales point of the Cooperative. This is a former military bunker carved into the rock at the beginning of World War II. Recently renovated both inside and outside, was opened in 1957 and has the capacity to store more than 13,000 cheeses [...].
It too is a military bunker built during the last world war. It is located on the left bank of the valley, opposite to Pré-Saint-Didier. It is about 200 m higher and has the same construction and environmental characteristics. It is exposed, to the south, to a slightly higher temperature range; in order to maintain the optimal temperature conditions it has recently been equipped with a refrigeration system. Equipped as a warehouse for the ripening of the fontina PDO by the Cooperative in 1965, it has undergone significant improvements both inside and outside and has a capacity to store about 13,500 cheeses.
Carved into the rock, this warehouse was once a magazine of a military fort dating back to the period of the French Revolution. It is located 1,685 meters above the sea level (the highest among the warehouses of the Cooperative) and up to 7,000 fontina cheeses can be stores within it to mature .
The store, opened by the cooperative in 1961, is located in the ancient copper mine located in Preslong, exploited until the mid-40s. The signs of mining are still visible thanks to the rails on which the carriages for transporting ore used to run. In 1994, thanks to the enlargement of tunnels, it was possible to get [...] a cave of considerable size, with a storage capacity that now reaches 60,000 cheeses. Next to the entrance of the warehouse is located the Visitor Center which is open to the public and where you can get an overview of the entire production of fontina PDO.
From the beginning, the search for warehouses was addressed towards the existing underground facilities that could ensure the required environmental characteristics and desired proximity. The tunnel of the abandoned mine of Santa Barbara in the municipality of Valpelline Preslong soon proved to be a winning solution.
In 1964: the tunnel was designated for the maturation and preservation of cheese.
The first warehouse used by the Cooperative. This is a former military bunker carved into the rock at the beginning of World War II. Recently the bunker underwent external renovations, but with some limitations ordered by the Regional Superintendent for cultural and artistic heritage who wanted maintain the overall external appearance "remnants of war" as a warning to future generations
Former magazine dug into the rock near the fort of Valgrisenche, dating back to the late thirteenth century, is now the warehouse of the Cooperative with a higher altitude (1700 metres) and provides an excellent balance between the temperature which remains around 8° C throughout the year and humidity reaching 98%.