Thirty-one of New Zealand's experienced dairy connoisseurs and international experts comprised a strict judging panel who tasted and tested their way through over 470 speciality cheeses, yoghurts and butters for this year's NZ Champions of Cheese Awards.
The results were announced on Tuesday 17th March at a special awards ceremony at The Langham, Auckland. The top three supreme awards were scooped by Dutch-style cheesemakers, with Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese's Very Old Edam taking the fiercly sought after Countdown Champion of Champions Cheese Award for large cheese producers.
The Puhoi Valley Champion Artisan Cheese Award was taken by Mercer cheese for its Mercer Mature Cumin, and Miel Meyer of Meye Gouda Cheese won the Milkfest NZ Champion Cheesemaker Award for the second time.
Three of our favourite cheeses also achieved medals, with Kapiti's Awa Blue winning the Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award and their Kahurangi winning the public vote in the New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award. The pungent and gooey Galactic Gold by Over the Moon Dairy won its category, named as Thermaflo Champion Washed Rind Cheese.
For a full list of award-winners and information on where to buy, visit: www.nzsca.org.nz/cheese-awards/