Vermont cheesemakers take home best in show at American Cheese Society competition

News Release — Vermont Cheese Council
July 31, 2014

STOWE — The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC), an organization dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont Cheese, announced that Vermont took home its second consecutive Best in Show first place designation, along with 36 ribbons from 16 cheesemakers at the 31st annual American Cheese Society competition in Sacramento, Calif. earlier this evening. The Best in Show First Place was awarded for Farms for City Kids Foundation/ Spring Brook Farm’s Tarentaise Reserve cheese.

The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS hosts North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. This year’s competition included 1,685 entries from 248 companies across North America.

A record number of Vermont cheesemakers – 23 in total – submitted cheeses to be judged at the prestigious competition this year, due in part to the VCC’s new sponsorship program. For the first time in its history, the VCC sponsored some Vermont cheesemakers’ ACS entry fees to support their efforts in showcasing their cheese in a competition setting.

The coveted Best in Show designation, given to a Vermont cheese maker for its second consecutive year, was awarded to Farms for City Kids Foundation/Spring Brook Farm’s Tarentaise Reserve. Tarentaise, named after the French Valley which inspired it, is a semi-hard washed rind cow’s milk cheese aged for up to 12 months in caves. Located in Reading, Spring Brook is part of Farms for City Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides a stimulating outdoor classroom where urban youth explore new dimensions of learning as academics are integrated into everyday farm activities that practice and teach sustainability. Activities include milking the cows and caring for the cheeses at Spring Brook Farm.

“Tonight saw a record win from Vermont at the American Cheese Society Awards,” said Tom Bivins, Vermont Cheese Council executive director. “Sixteen of the 23 cheesemakers who submitted cheeses walked away with at least one ribbon. And for Vermont to take home a Best in Show for the second year in a row, truly clinches our standing of Vermont being home for many of the world’s finest cheeses.”

Winning Cheeses from Vermont

Farms for City Kids Foundation/Spring Brook Farm, Reading: Tarentaise Reserve, first place; Tarentaise, first place; also BEST in Show first place for Tarentaise Reserve.

Big Picture Farm, Townshend: Sonnet, third

Boston Post Dairy, Enosburg Falls: Très Bonne, first place

Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot: Monterey Jack, first place; Cabot Sharp, second place; Farmhouse Reserve, second place; Light Cheddar, third place; Plain Greek Style Yogurt, second place; Salted Butter, second place; Unsalted Butter, third place

Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro: Harbison, first place; Alpha Tolman, second place

Consider Bardwell Farm, West Pawlet: Rupert, first

Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton: Shepsog, first place; 2 Year Aged cheddar, third place; Queen of Quality Clothbound Cheddar, first place; Bear Hill, third place; Bull Hill, second place

Lazy Lady Farm, Westfield: La Petite Tomme, third place

Maplebrook Farm, Bennington: Ricotta Alta, second place; Whole Milk Block Feta, second place

Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Plymouth: Red White & Blue, second place

Sage Farm Goat Dairy, Stowe: Belvidere, third place

Shelburne Farms, Shelburne: Farmhouse 6 Month Cheddar, third place

Twig Farm, Cornwall: Mixed Drum, third place

Vermont Creamery, Websterville: Bijou, first place; Bonne Bouche, second place; Coupole, second place; Torus (with Murray’s Cheese), second place; Feta, first place; Cultured Butter with Sea Salt and Maple, second place; Crème Fraiche, third place; Unsalted Cultured Butter, third place

Vermont Farmstead Cheese, S. Woodstock: Alehouse Cheddar, second

von Trapp Farmstead, Waitsfield: Savage, third place

For a comprehensive list of the 2014 American Cheese Society winners, visit CheeseJudging.org.

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