MADISON, WIS. -- A gruyere from Switzerland has been named the 2022 World Champion Cheese for the second consecutive time and third time overall. The cheese, called 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 bested the 2,978 total entries in the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest. The cheese also earned the World Champion title in 2020 and 2008.

"What to say, we did it again," said Roland Sahli, chief executive officer, Gourmino AG, who accepted the award on behalf of the company and Spycher. "We are convinced by the quality of the gruyere and Michael Spycher's skills in cheese production. He is an experienced cheese master."

First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.331, is 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 Gen 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, executive director for the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the biennial competition. "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 United States led the pack with an impressive 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 excelled with 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 dry ingredients competition in the world.

A team of 53 internationally renowned judges evaluated all entries over the three-day event held in Madison, Wisconsin. The top three finishers for each entry class were announced on Tuesday and Wednesday following preliminary judging rounds. 

The Top 20 finalists, which were selected from the preliminary winners of all 141 classes included:

Class 4: Cheddar, Aged One to Two Years

Cheese Name: Aged Cheddar – One to Two Years

Maker: Kiel Production Team

Company: Land O Lakes, Inc.

Location: Kiel, Wisconsin, USA


Class 31: Feta, Flavored

Cheese Name: Odyssey Peppercorn Feta

Maker: Steve Webster

Company: Klondike Cheese Co.

Location: Monroe, Wisconsin, USA


Class 35: Gorgonzola

Cheese Name: BelGioioso CreamyGorg

Maker: Jeff Allen

Company: BelGioioso Cheese Inc.

Location: Denmark, Wisconsin, USA


Class 38: Open Class: Cheeses with Blue Molding

Cheese Name: Red Rock

Maker: Team Roelli

Company: Roelli Cheese Co., Inc.

Location: Shullsburg, Wisconsin, USA


Class 41: Gouda, Mature (4-10 months)

Cheese Name: Beemster Royaal

Maker: Lieke Kortekaas

Company: Beemster

Location: Westbeemster, Netherlands


Class 42: Gouda, Extra Aged (over 10 months)

Cheese Name: Roemer Sweet

Maker: Team Van der Heiden Kaas

Company: Van der Heiden Kaas B.V.

Location: Bodegraven, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands


Class 44: Gouda, Smoked

Cheese Name: Castello Smoked Cracked Pepper Gouda

Maker: Dave Newman

Company: Arla Foods

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin, USA


Class 52: Gruyere

Cheese Name: Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP

Maker: Michael Spycher, Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus

Company: Gourmino AG

Location: Langnau i.E., Bern, Switzerland


Class 53: Appenzeller

Cheese Name: Appenzeller® Mild-Würzig

Maker: Hans Näf

Company: Käserei Niederbüren AG

Location: Niederbüren, Switzerland


Class 57: Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Semi-soft (Semi-hard), Aged Cheeses (over 4 months)

Cheese Name: Tête de Moine AOP

Maker: Fromages Spielhofer

Company: Fromages Spielhofer SA

Location: St-Imier, Bern, Switzerland


Class 58: Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Hard Cheeses, Mature (less than 9 months)

Cheese Name: Erzherzog Johann

Maker: Pichler Othmar and Team

Company: Obersteirische Molkerei eGen

Location: Knittelfeld, Steiermark, Austria


Class 59: Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Hard Cheeses, Extra Aged (over 9 months)

Cheese Name: Roth Grand Cru Surchoix

Maker: Team Emmi Roth - Monroe

Company: Emmi Roth

Location: Monroe, Wisconsin, USA


Class 60: Wine/Spirits Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Cheeses

Cheese Name: Mont Vully Réserve

Maker: Käserei Schafer AG

Company: Käserei Schafer AG

Location: Cressier FR, Fribourg, Switzerland


Class 68: Open Class: Semi-soft Cheeses

Cheese Name: Holland Master Cantenaar

Maker: Team Steenderen

Company: Royal FrieslandCampina

Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands


Class 69: Open Class: Hard Cheeses

Cheese Name: Beemster Royaal Grand Cru

Maker: Team Beemster

Company: Beemster

Location: Westbeemster, Netherlands


Class 73: Open Class: Semi-soft Cheeses, Flavored

Cheese Name: Point Reyes TomaTruffle

Maker: Kuba Hemmerling & Team

Company: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

Location: Petaluma, California, USA


Class 77: Reduced Fat Soft & Semi-soft Cheeses

Cheese Name: Vermeer

Maker: Team Steenderen

Company: Royal FrieslandCampina

Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands


Class 102: Hard Sheep’s Milk Cheeses, Extra Aged (over 6 months)

Cheese Name: Ocooch Reserve

Maker: Brenda Jensen

Company: Hidden Springs Creamery

Location: Westby, Wisconsin, USA


Class 104: Surface (Mold) Ripened Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

Cheese Name: Los Cameros Cured Sheep Cheese

Maker: Lácteos Martínez S.L.U.

Company: Lácteos Martínez S.L.U.

Location: Haro, La Rioja, Spain


Class 107: Soft & Semi-soft Mixed Milk Cheeses

Cheese Name: Nettle Meadow Kunik

Maker: Team Nettle Meadow

Company: Nettle Meadow

Location: Warrensburg, New York, USA