Guggisberg Baby Swiss Wheel Named 2019 U.S. Champion Cheese

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GREEN BAY, WI – A Baby Swiss Wheel made by Guggisberg Cheese has been named the best cheese in the United States of America, earning the company its second title at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in just four years.

With an impressive score of 98.54 out of 100, Guggisberg Cheese’s winning Baby Swiss Wheel was crafted by Team Guggisberg Doughty Valley in Millersburg, Ohio.  Guggisberg Cheese also swept the traditional Swiss Wheel class in the 2019 competition.

Guggisberg Cheese first won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in 2015 with its Premium Swiss, a traditional-style wheel.

“Guggisberg Cheese has found a recipe for success with Swiss-style cheese, and our distinguished judges were blown away by the quality of the company’s Baby Swiss entry,” said John Umhoefer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, the contest host organization.  “We congratulate Guggisberg Cheese, as we salute all cheesemakers pursuing excellence in their craft.”

Marieke Gouda of Thorp, Wisconsin claimed both the first and second runner-up positions in the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.  Coming in just one-tenth of a point behind the Champion Cheese, with a score of 98.41, was Marieke Gouda Premium, a gouda cheese aged 18-24 months, and Marieke Gouda Overjarige earned a score of 98.39.  Cheesemaker Marieke Penterman of Marieke Gouda is a perennial contender in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, having won the 2013 competition.

A record-setting 2,555 cheese entries from 35 states were evaluated during the two-day competition in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  A team of 60 nationally-renowned judges hailing from 20 states considered each entry’s flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish, and packaging, and via an independent scoring system, determined contest winners.

Overall, Wisconsin cheesemakers dominated the competition, earning gold medals in 60 of the 116 contest classes and sweeping the gold, silver, and bronze medals in 25 classes.  New York cheesemakers earned nine gold medals, while those in California and Idaho earned six each.  Gold medals are also going to dairy processors in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington.

The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese, butter, yogurt, and dry dairy products competition in the country, and has been held biennially since 1981.