PDO Saint-Nectaire, a round, soft and generous cheese.

Saint-Nectaire, a pressed uncooked cheese made from cow’s milk, hails from the region of Saint-Nectaire, a spa town in the Monts Dore massif in Auvergne. This rustic treat is known for its supple and smooth paste and can boast of having been served to Louis XIV, having been introduced by the marshal of France, Henri de Sennecterre. Its area of origin is one of the smallest designated in France (comprising 69 communes spread across the Sancy Massif, Cézallier and Artense and straddling the department of Puy de Dôme and Cantal). It is tucked between the famous range of volcanoes in Auvergne and enjoys a long-established reputation. Saint-Nectaire can be farmhouse (produced in a farm with raw milk) or dairy (made in a dairy, with pasteurised milk). Aged over at least 28 days, it demands a reaction. It can be served plain on a cheeseboard or used in cooked dishes and is the definitive convivial cheese.

  • lait-vache
    Cow’s milk
  • AOP
  • thermometre
    Raw milk or thermised/pasteurised milk
  • fromages
    Pressed uncooked cheese
Key figures
  • 459 Milk producers
  • 212 Farmhouse producers
  • 4 Production plants
  • 20 Maturing plants
  • 13 658 Tons marketed in 2020

Our tasting tips

La découpe du Saint-Nectaire


Cut into fine-tipped wedges from the middle outwards.

Pains à déguster avec le Saint-Nectaire


Nut bread
Cereal bread
Cocoa bread
Vienna bread
Wholemeal bread

Accords gourmands

Food pairings

Alcohol abuse is harmful to your health.

Drink in moderation.

Côtes d’Auvergne
Côtes du Rhône
Jura dry white wine
Loire red wine
Brut Champagne
Dark beer
Peated Islay whisky
Burgundy red wine
Champagne red wine
Demi-sec Champagne
Rosé Champagne
Blue/green tea from Taiwan

Organoleptic characteristics


The cheeses’ rind is similar on both sides, with sparse mould. Depending on the extent of maturing, the mould may be white. Brown or grey, possibly with a cream-to-orange background and maybe yellow and/or red flecks. The paste is ivory-coloured and may feature significant, evenly-spread holes.



The smooth and creamy paste yields when pressed.



It has a cellar atmosphere that can bring to mind hints of the undergrowth and damp straw.



It has a clear, soft and slightly salty taste, not too acidic and with mixed milky flavours (fresh milk, cream and butter) and traces of ageing (cellar, maturing straw, earth or undergrowth). All of this is often enhanced by a subtle hint of hazelnut.