Out of a record-breaking 3,667 entries in the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest, 20 cheeses made the finals for the title: World Champion Cheese. The contest was held March 3-5 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The winners of the 2020 cheese contest are as follows:
- World Champion: Michael Spycher, Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus, Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP, Gourmino AG, Urtenen-Schoenbuehl, Bern, Switzerland. Champion round score: 98.81;
- First runner-up: Hardegger Käse AG, Gallus Grand CRU, Hardegger Käse AG, Jonschwil, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Champion round score: 98.70; and
- Second runner-up: Team Lutjewiinkel, Lutjewiinkel Noord Hollandse Gouda PDO, Royal FrieslandCampina-Export, Lutjewiinkel, Netherlands. Champion round score: 98.66.
The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the biennial competition, also released—in order of class number—the names and makers of the top 20 cheeses that were judged for the top prize.
- Class 5: Cheddar, Aged Two Years or Longer—Cheese Name: Agropur Grand Cheddar 3 Years Maker: Agropur Company: Agropur Location: Saint-Hubert, Quebec, Canada;
- Class 7: Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Sharp to Aged—Cheese Name: English Hollow Cheddar Maker: Maple Leaf Cheesemaking Team Company: Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc. Location: Monroe, Wisconsin, United States;
- Class 29: Parmesan—Cheese Name: Parmigiano-Reggiano Maker: Team Il Re Company: Royal A-ware (Netherlands) Location: Italy;
- Class 35: Gorgonzola—Cheese Name: Roth Gorgonzola Cheese Maker: Team Emmi Roth-Seymour Company: Emmi Roth Location: Seymour, Wisconsin, United States;
- Class 37: Blue Veined Cheeses with Exterior Molding—Cheese Name: Cambozola Black Maker: Champignon North America, Inc. Company: Käserei Champignon Location: Lauben, Bavaria, Germany;
- Class 39: Gouda, Young (0-4 months)—Cheese Name: Holland Master, North-Holland Gouda Mild, PGI Maker: Team Lutjewiinkel Company: Royal FrieslandCampina-Export Location: Lutjewiinkel, Netherlands;
- Class 40: Gouda, Mature (4-10 months)—Cheese Name: Lutjewiinkel Noord Hollandse Gouda PDO Maker: Team Lutjewiinkel Company: Royal FrieslandCampina-Export Location: Lutjewiinkel, Netherlands;
- Class 43: Gouda, Smoked—Cheese Name: Marieke Gouda Smoked Cumin Maker: Marieke Gouda Team Company: Marieke Gouda Location: Thorp, Wisconsin, United States;
- Class 47: Open Class: Soft Ripened Cheeses, Flavored—Cheese Name: Lait Bloomer Maker: Murray’s Cheese & Jasper Hill Company: Murray’s Cheese & Jasper Hill; Location: Long Island City, New York, United States;
- Class 48: Latin American Style Fresh Cheeses—Cheese Name: Queso Panela Maker: El Mexicano Company: Marquez Brothers International, INC Location: Hanford, California, United States;
- Class 51: Gruyere—Cheese Name: Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP Maker: Michael Spycher, Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus Company: Gourmino AG Location: Urtenen-Schoenbuehl, Bern, Switzerland;
- Class 53: Open Class: Alpine Cheeses—Cheese Name: Le Maréchal Maker: Fromagerie Le Maréchal SA Company: Fromagerie Le Maréchal SA Location: Granges-Marnard, Vaud, Switzerland;
- Class 56: Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Cheeses (6 months and longer)—Cheese Name: Alter Fritz Maker: Hardegger Käse AG Company: Hardegger Käse AG Location: Jonschwil, St. Gallen, Switzerland;
- Class 67: Open Class: Hard Cheeses—Cheese Name: Gallus Grand CRU Maker: Hardegger Käse AG Company: Hardegger Käse AG Location: Jonschwil, St. Gallen, Switzerland;
- Class 68: Open Class: Hard Cheeses with Natural Rind—Cheese Name: St. Malachi Reserves Maker: Team Doe Run Company: The Farm at Doe Run Location: Coatesville, Pennsylvania, United States;
- Class 74: Reduced Fat Soft & Semi-soft Cheeses—Cheese Name: Milner 30+ Extra Matured Maker: Team Steenderen Company: Royal FrieslandCampaina-Export Location: Steenderen, Netherlands;
- Class 75: Reduced Fat Hard Cheeses—Cheese Name: Beemster Lite Old 30+ Company: Beemster Location: Westbeemster, Netherlands;
- Class 91: Hard Goat’s Milk Cheeses—Cheese Name: Old Amsterdam Aged Goat Gouda Maker: Old Amsterdam Company: Westland Kaasexport BV Location: Huizen, Netherlands;
- Class 93: Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Goat’s Milk Cheeses—Cheese Name: Highlander Maker: Jasper Hill Farm Company: Cellars at Jasper Hill Location: Greensboro, Vermont, United States; and
- Class 104: Hard Mixed Milk Cheeses (0-6 months)—Cheese Name: Iberico Mixed Milk Hard Cheese Maker: Miguel Angel García-Baquero Company: Lacteas García Baquero, S. A. Location: Alcazar De San Juan, Spain.
The 2020 World Champion Cheese was named March 5 at Cheese Champion, the contest’s crowning event, at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
The World Championship Cheese Contest, initiated in 1957, is the largest technical cheese, butter, yogurt and dry dairy ingredient competition in the world.
For more information, including complete results for all entry classes, click here.