How Grana Padano cheese is made

It all starts with fresh milk.
The process begins with fresh milk, whereby the milkings take place in
specialised, controlled farms.

Raw milk
The raw milk must be produced in the geographical area set in the Product Specifications. It is partially skimmed by natural surface skimming.
Copper Cauldrons
The skimmed milk is then placed inside traditional copper cooking cauldrons (or vats), which have the shape of a bell turned upside down. Each cauldron produces two wheels of cheese, called "twin wheels".
Then the whey produced the day before is added. Full of lactic acid bacteria, whey is the perfect way to trigger the transformation of milk into cheese.
Once the whey has been added, the milk is brought to a temperature of 31-33°C(88-91° F)
The calf rennet is added to the milk to ensure that it curdles.
Breaking of the curd
The curd is then broken with a giant whisk (spino), while the heating of the curd and the cooking continues, until the temperature reaches 53-56° C. (127-136° F)
The heating process stops whilst the curd grains settle at the bottom of the cauldron.
Whilst the temperature is kept constant throughout the end of the cooking process, the curd grains are left to rest under the whey, for 30-70 minute, in order to let the cheese form.
Using a sort of a wooden shovel (pala) and a linen cloth (schiavino), the curd mass is raised from the bottom of the cauldron and cut into two equal parts, in order to create two twin wheels.
Each of the two wheels are wrapped in linen clothes, extracted from the copper vat and placed on a shelf - the spersola.
First molding
Each wheel is placed into a special mould, the fascera, made of suitable plastic material. A heavy object of the same material is then placed on top of the cheese to place pressure.
Marks of origin
After about 12 hours, a piece of plastic (fascera) engraved with the Marks of Origins is inserted.
Casein Plate
Then a casein plate, with a specific ID code is placed on the top face of the wheel, this is crucial when identifying the traceability of each wheel.
Two days later, the process of salting (salatura) starts: the cheese wheels are soaked in brine, a solution of water and salt. This step can take from 14 to 30 days, depending on the saline solution and the size of the wheel.
Once the salting is finished, the wheels are taken into a “hot room” (camera calda) where they will dry for a few hours.
Finally, the cheese wheels will be taken to a specific maturing warehouse, where they will be left to age for a minimum of 9 months.