Déjà vu: Repeat winner as Alpine cheeses take top three spots in World Championship Cheese Contest

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Swiss cheese Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP won the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest held in Wisconsin. Pic: WCMA
Swiss cheese Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP won the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest held in Wisconsin. Pic: WCMA

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A Gruyere from Switzerland has been named the 2022 World Champion Cheese for the second consecutive time and third overall.

The cheese, Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP is made by Michael Spycher of Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus in Bern, Switzerland for Gourmino AG.

Earning a score of 98.423 out of 100, Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP was top cheese from 2,978 entries in the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest, which is staged by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA).

The cheese also earned the title in 2020 and 2008.

First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.331, was Appenzeller Mild-Würzig, an Appenzeller made by Käserei Niederbüren AG of Niederbüren, Switzerland.

Erzherzog Johann, a mature washed rind/smear ripened hard cheese, made by Obersteirische Molkerei eGen of Knittelfeld, Steiermark, Austria earned the second runner-up position with a score of 98.254.

“Cheesemakers worldwide have always been deeply committed to excellence in their craft,”​ said John Umhoefer, WCMA executive director.

“That commitment is abundantly clear in the work of this year’s winners. We congratulate them all on this outstanding achievement.”

A total of 29 nations were represented in the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest. The US led the pack with 94 Best in Class finishes. Cheesemakers from Switzerland took home 10 gold medals, while the Netherlands finished with seven.

Among the 33 US states represented in the contest, Wisconsin cheesemakers took 45 Best in Class titles. Next in line was New York with 12 first-place finishes, followed by Idaho with 11 gold-medal winners.

The World Championship Cheese Contest, initiated in 1957, is the largest technical cheese, butter, yogurt, and whey competition in the world. A team of 53 international judges evaluated all entries over the three-day event held in Madison, Wisconsin.

AOP Gruyere cheese, which originates in Switzerland, was dealt a blow earlier this year when a US judge declared gruyere to be a generic cheese​ name. The decision is currently being challenged by Interprofession du Gruyere.


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