WI cheesemakers represent U.S. at World Cheese Awards in London

Colleen Kottke
Editor/Wisconsin State Farmer

Wisconsin cheesemakers were among the top winners representing the U.S. during the 30th annual World Cheese Awards held in London.

World Cheese Awards

Carr Valley Cheese Company led all Wisconsin cheesemakers winning 12 awards followed by Sartori Cheese and Emmi Roth with eight apiece,  The Artisan Cheese Exchange with four, Saxon Cheese LLC with two, and Saputo Cheese USA and Springside Cheese with one each.

These Wisconsin companies were named among the winners, standing out from the crowd as over 3,000 entries from 35 different countries were judged in a single day at Tobacco Dock on Friday 17 November.

Sartori Cheese of Plymouth won two coveted Super Gold honors at the event and was the only United States cheesemaker to be awarded two of the top honors — one for SarVecchio Parmesan and another for Reserve BellaVitano Gold.

"It means so much to our talented team members, master cheesemakers and family farms to see two Sartori originals get such high praise at the reputable World Cheese Awards," said Jeff Schwager, president of Sartori Cheese.

Only 66 Super Golds were awarded by the international pool of judges gathered in London.

Other Sartori awards included gold medals for Limited Edition Extra-Aged Goat and Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano; silver medals for Classic Parmesan and Reserve Balsamic BellaVitano; bronze medals for Limited Edition Cognac and Limited Edition Pastorale Blend.  

Wisconsin cheesemakers earn 36 medals at world cheese judging event.

Carr Valley Cheese Company was also awarded a Super Gold award for its Shepherds Blend cheese. Owned and operated by the Cook family, Carr Valley Cheese Company is over 100 years old and is located in the rolling hills near La Valle, WI.

Other Carr Valley awards included silver medals for Bread Cheese, Cave Aged Cardona, Aged Marisa, Black Sheep Truffle, Cave Aged Mellage, and Bessies Blend; bronze medals for Glacier Point Gorgonzola, Canaria, Gran Canaria, Cardona and Marisa.

Saputo Cheese USA was also awards a Super Gold medal for its Kiss My Ash cheese.

Emmi Roth, the U.S. subsidiary of Switzerland-based Emmi Group (the largest milk processor in Switzerland) earned eight medals for cheese produced at its Monroe creamery. Awards include a gold medal for Roth Tomme Emmi Roth; silver medals for Roth Grand Cru Original Wheel, Roth's Private Reserve and bronze medals for Grand Cru Original Wheel, Roth Grand Cru Original Block, Roth Grand Cru Reserve Block, Roth Monroe and Roth Buttermilk Gorgonzola.

Cleveland’s Saxon Creamery was named among the winners receiving more than one gold medal at the event. The Manitowoc County business took home two coveted Gold awards for its Big Ed's Reserve Gouda and its Saxony Alpine Cheese.

According the creamery, Big Ed's is a carefully open-air-aged, rich, buttery cheese, with notes of Parmesan and sweet butterscotch. Saxony Alpine is a dense semi-firm/hard cheese that boasts of sweet, rich milk, and ranges of nuttiness of toasted hazelnuts and carmelized almonds, as well as lingering slight Swiss notes reminiscent of alpine cheese.

The Artisan Cheese Exchange of Sheboygan won a gold medal for its Deer Creek The Fawn; a silver medal for Deer Creek The Robin; and bronze medals for Deer Creek The Imperial Buck and Deer Creek The Moon Rabbit.

Springside Cheese of Oconto Falls earned a silver medal for its aged cheddar.

Entries made their way by road, rail, air and sea, via 12 consolidation points located in every corner of the globe, which channeled cheeses into London from nations including Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia and South Africa.

The 230-strong judging panel brought together more nations than ever before, representing six continents and 29 different countries, from South Africa and Japan to Mexico and the USA, to taste, nose and grade all 3,001 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to winning cheeses.

With the top 16 cheeses selected, the audience then gathered at Taste of London Festive Edition to watch the International Super Jury debate the world’s best cheeses. Earning the title of Best American Cheese was Gold Hill Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy.

Patti Zarling of USA TODAY NETWORK - Wisconsin contributed to this report.