High quality of cheese in region recognised

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Four Otago-Southland cheeses have been awarded silver medals in the annual New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.

Queenstown's Gibbston Valley Cheese won silver for its New Balfour sheep milk cheese and its chilli havarti in the flavoured section, while Fonterra's Stirling plant's Mainland Tasty and NZMP Colby were also awarded silver in the cheddar section.

In all, there were 223 medals awarded to New Zealand speciality cheeses - 97 gold, 99 silver and 27 bronze medals.

The awards, which honour technical excellence in the manufacture of cheese, are judged independently by an expert team of New Zealand judges and international Master judge Russell Smith to ensure professionalism, expert knowledge and credibility.

Smith said the high quality of New Zealand-made cheese was obvious by the large number of medals awarded. Organised by the New Zealand Specialist Cheese-makers Association, the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards has been run since 2003.

The bronze, silver and gold medal winners were announced on Monday, with the gold medal winners vying for one of 26 cheese trophies, which will be announced in Hamilton in May.

Oamaru's Whitestone Cheese did not enter the competition.

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