The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC), the organization dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont Cheese, announced that Vermont took home 46 ribbons from 20 cheesemakers at the 32nd annual American Cheese Society competition in Providence, RI earlier this evening. Notable awards include a third place Best In Show designation for Cellars at Jasper Hill’s (Greensboro) Harbison, and ribbons by brand new VCC members Fairy Tale Farm Cheese (Bridport) and Sweet Rowen Farmstead (West Glover).
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 1,779 entries from 267 companies across North America.
Last year’s record number (23) of Vermont cheesemakers in the competition was beat again this year, as 27 of the state’s artisan cheesemakers submitted cheeses to be judged at the ACS. The number due in part to the VCC’s new sponsorship program, which sponsors some of Vermont cheesemakers’ ACS entry fees to support their efforts in showcasing their cheese in a competition setting.
Vermont was represented with a third place Best in Show award for Cellars at Jasper Hill’s Harbison, a soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese with a rustic, bloomy rind. The cheese is wrapped in strips of spruce cambium, the tree's inner bark layer, harvested from the woodlands of Jasper Hill.
“The strength and respect of Vermont cheese continues to grow, which was evident tonight at the American Cheese Society awards,” said Tom Bivins, Vermont Cheese Council executive director. “Twenty of our entered 27 cheesemakers took home 46 ribbons for their cheese, butter or yogurt. Winners included long-standing members and brand new members, showing that this category of artisan food for Vermont continues to shine.”
Winning Cheeses from Vermont
- Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro: Third Place-Best in Show for Harbison.
- Boston Post Dairy, Enosburg Falls: Gisele, Smoking Goud, third place
- Bonneview Farm, Craftsbury Common: Nevis, second place;
- Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot: Cabot Old School Cheddar, first; Jalapeno Lite Cheddar, Plain Greek Style Yogurt, second;
- Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro: Harbison, first place and third place-best in show; Winnemere, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Select – first place; and ; Alpha Tolman and Willoughby, second place
- Consider Bardwell Farm, West Pawlet: Pawlet, first; Rupert Reserve, second; Manchester, third
- Fairy Tale Farm Cheese, Bridport: Will O’ Wisp, third
- Franklin Foods, Enosburg Falls: Hahn’s Cultured Cream Cheese, first place
- Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton: Vermont Clothbound Cheddar, second place
- Maplebrook Farm, Bennington: Burrata, Whole Milk Block Feta, second place; Smoked Handmade Mozzarella, third place
- Mount Mansfield Creamery, Morrisville: Forerunner, second; Sunrise, third place
- Parish Hill Creamery, Westminster West:Vermont Herdsman at Crown Finish Caves, first; Suffolk Punch, third
- Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Plymouth: Hot Pepper, second; Sage & Herb, third
- Sage Farm Goat Dairy, Stowe: Fresh Chevre, third place
- Shelburne Farms, Shelburne: Barnhouse Smoked Cheddar, third
- Spring Brook Farm/Farms for City Kids, Reading: Reading, first place; Tarentaise Reserve and Tarentaise, third place
- Sweet Rowen Farmstead, West Glover: Nettle Farmers Cheese, first
- Twig Farm, Cornwall: Washed Rind Wheel, third
- Vermont Creamery, Websterville: Bijou, Sea Salt and Maple Butter, first place; Bonne Bouche, Goat Feta and 1916 Wegman’s Chevre, second place; Fresh Crottin, Culture Butter Unsalted, third
- Vermont Shepherd, Putney: Verano, first;2 Year Old Invierno, third place
- Woodcock Farm, Dorset: Summer Snow, second
For a comprehensive list of the 2015 American Cheese Society winners, visit CheeseJudging.org.
The state of Vermont, celebrated for its focus on farm-to-table lifestyle and Vermont-made products, including cheese, boasts more cheese companies per capita than any other state in the nation. The Vermont Cheese Council, for the first time at the 32nd Annual ACS Conference and competition, was the Marquee Sponsor for the conference. As the Marquee Sponsor, Vermont Cheese Council hosted a Vermont Pancake Breakfast focused completely on Vermont ingredients and Vermont companies including Vermont Maple Syrup from the Vermont Maple Sugar Growers Association, pancakes from King Arthur Flour, bacon and ham from Vermont Smoke & Cure, jams and jellies from Sidehill Farm Jams, and coffee from Vermont Coffee Company, and breakfast dairy products from Cabot, Vermont Creamery and Champlain Valley Creamery. The Council was host as well for the Opening Reception with music by Vermont band "Gang of Thieves," and cheese and food from Vermont producers and Vermont distributors including Provisions International, Black River Produce and Black River Meats, Vermont Smoke & Cure, Wozz! Kitchen Creations, Vermont Salumi, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Castleton Crackers, Harpoon Brewery in Windor, VT, Cavendish Quail, Sidehill Farm Jams, Vermont Chevon and The Vermont Beef Industry Council. Along with all the food, there were cheeses from 45 Vermont Cheese Council members. "Our goal as a Marquee Sponsor at the Conference was to highlight the entire spectrum of foods produced in Vermont, as well as the culture of our great state, said Tom Bivins, ED for VCC. "We are grateful to the Vermont Dairy Promotion Council for its support, particularly this year. It has been instrumental in creating greater name recognition and exposure for the Vermont Cheese Council and for all the small, farmstead cheesemakers and cheese companies in Vermont. This was clearly a great opportunity to reinforce the quality and strength of Vermont dairy and value added dairy industries in Vermont."
The Vermont Cheese Council is a statewide membership based organization with 50 principal cheese producing members and over 100 associate members. The VCC is committed to promoting the advancement and quality of Vermont cheese through promotion, education and strong peer to peer support. The organization has been in existence since 1992. For more information, please contact: Tom Bivins, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-451-8564 or visit the Vermont Cheese Council website at www.vtcheese.com.