Sartori Co. Reserve Extra Aged Asiago and Shredded SarVecchio Parmesan  received Best of Class honors.
Sartori Co received four awards, including two Best of Class honors. 

A Dutch Gouda-style cheese is the 2012 World Championship Cheese. The semisoft, reduced-fat cheese, called Vermeer, from FrieslandCampina in Steenderen, Netherlands, took top honors out of 2,504 entries from 24 countries. Out of possible 100 points, Vermeer scored 98.73 in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated the top 16 gold-winning cheeses to determine the overall champion.

The World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese and butter competition in the world.

First runner-up, with a score of 98.55, is Winzer Kase, a smear ripened semi-soft cheese made by Kaserai Grundbach company in Wattenwil, Switzerland. Second runner-up is Appenzeller Kase, made by Karl Germann, of Appenzell, Switzerland, which scored 98.34.

Complete results for all entry classes and contest photos are online.

“Thousands of cheesemakers from around the world have participated in the largest technical cheese competition ever held. Every medalist should be extremely proud of their accomplishment,” said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the biennial competition. 

Overall, U.S. cheesemakers dominated the competition, earning gold medals in 55 of the total 82 categories judged. Switzerland came in second among the countries, with seven golds. Canada had six gold medals, Denmark five, the Netherlands four, while Germany and Spain each took two. Australia and Austria each captured one apiece.

Among U.S. states, Wisconsin dominated with 30 gold medals. New York took nine golds, while California and Vermont earned three. Idaho and South Dakota each earned two gold medals. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Utah each took one gold medal.

DCI Cheese Black Diamond Extra Sharp Cheddar Cold Pack Spread
DCI Cheese was honored for its spreadable Cheddar.

Among the winning cheeses from the United States, is Cheddar made in Blair, Wis., by Associated Milk Producers Inc. It scored a 99.5. The processor’s salted butter scored a near-perfect 99.9, earning the cooperative an additional gold medal in the contest. The butter was produced at the cooperative’s plant in New Ulm, Minn.

Sartori Co.’s Reserve Extra Aged Asiago and Shredded SarVecchio Parmesan received Best of Class honors. The company also won two other awards. The Reserve Extra Aged Asiago won Best of Class in the Open Hard Cheese Category. Reserve SarVecchio Parmesan took Best of Class in the Open Shredded Cheese Category.

Sartori also placed second in the Hard Mixed Milk Cheese Category with their Limited Edition Pastorale Blend, a mixed milk cheese featuring a blend of cow and sheep milk and finished with a hand-dusted coating of Spanish paprika on the rind. The cheesemaker was awarded third place in the Hard Goat's Milk Cheese Category with Limited Edition Caprimenthe, which is coated with a mixture of olive oil and crushed mint leaves.

Eight cheeses from DCI Cheese Co., a unit of Saputo, were recognized. Six received the Best of Class distinction. They are: Salemville Amish Gorgonzola; Black Diamond Extra Sharp Cheddar Cold Pack Spread; il Giardino Aged Mandarini Provolone; Alexis de Portneuf Bleubry; DuVillage 1860 Lady Laurier d'Arthabaska; and Danamark Havarti.