The Top 20 Cheeses in the World Announced | culture: the word on cheese
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The Top 20 Cheeses in the World Announced

World Championship Cheese Contest judges lift Hornbacher, the newly-announced 2024 World Champion Cheese, alongside Joe Salonia, a representative of Gourmino AG (third from left).

The 2024 World Championship Cheese Contest (WCCC) has crowned Hornbacher, a washed rind, semi-hard cow’s milk cheese, as the 2024 World Champion Cheese. Crafted by Michael Spycher at Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus for Gourmino AG in Switzerland, Hornbacher scored an impressive 98.98 out of 100, surpassing 3,302 entries from over 400 dairy companies worldwide.

Hornbacher is sometimes described as “the baked potato cheese,” boasting flavors reminiscent of the classic comfort food, complemented by notes of roasted nuts, caramel, and onions. This is Spycher’s fourth Best of Show victory at the WCCC, having previously taken home the title in 2008, 2020, and 2022 for his Gruyere.

Following closely behind, Artikaas Vintage Lot 18, an extra-aged Gouda from the Netherlands, secured the first runner-up position with a score of 98.92. The second runner-up spot went to Batch #17, a surface-ripened mixed milk cheese from The Farm at Doe Run in Pennsylvania, USA, with a score of 98.91.

During his acceptance speech, Joe Salonia from Gourmino AG expressed profound gratitude, stating, “I’m incredibly moved, but mostly through the emotion of understanding what it means for all of the cheesemakers, and all of the judges, and all of the talent it takes to make this type of event happen. It’s an incredible amount of energy and purpose.”

He continued, reflecting on the passion within the cheese community, “Many of us in this room are blessed to do the work we love. I think we’re living our best lives in cheese.” This sentiment underscores the dedication and commitment shared by cheesemakers worldwide, highlighting the significance of the WCCC in celebrating their craft and achievements.


Maker: Michael Spycher, Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus | Company: Gourmino AG
Category: Class 56 – Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Cheeses, Aged (over 4 months)

Artikaas Vintage Lot 18
Maker: Dutch Cheese Makers | Company: Dutch Cheese Makers
Category: Class 44 – Gouda, Extra Aged (over 10 months)

Batch #17
(United States)
Maker: The Farm at Doe Run | Company: The Farm at Doe Run
Category: Class – 114: Surface Ripened Mixed Milk Cheeses

Aged Cheddar Midget (United States)
Maker: Joshua Henning | Company: Henning’s Cheese
Category: Class 7 – Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Sharp to Aged

Flagship Reserve (United States)
Maker: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, LLC | Company: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, LLC
Category: Class 8 – Natural Rinded Cheddar

Ziller Wheel (United States)
Maker: Team DV | Company: Guggisberg Cheese
Category: Class 12 – Baby Swiss Style

Cello Artisan Copper Kettle Parmesan (United States)
Maker: Lake Country Dairy | Company: Schuman Cheese
Category: Class 24 – Parmesan

St. Clemens Aged Blue Flowers (Denmark)
Maker: Team St. Clemens | Company: Bornholms Andelsmejeri
Category: Class 36 – Open Class: Cheeses with Blue Molding

Henri Willig Smokey Gouda (Netherlands)
Maker: Kaasmakerij Henri Willig | Company: Kaasmakerij Henri Willig B.V.
Category: Class 46 – Gouda, Smoked

Appenzeller® Silver Label (Switzerland)
Maker: Marcel Gabriel | Company: SO Appenzeller Käse GmbH
Category: Class 51 – Appenzeller, Young

L’Etivaz AOP (Switzerland)
Maker: François Raynaud | Company: Caves de L’Etivaz
Category: Class 53 – Open Class: Alpine Cheeses

Willoughby (United States)
Maker: Jasper Hill Creamery Team | Company: Cellars at Jasper Hill
Category: Class 54 – Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Soft Cheeses

Heidi Farm Tilsit (Australia)
Maker: Bruce Turner | Company: Saputo Dairy Australia
Category: Class 55 – Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Cheeses, Young (less than 4 months)

Oshamambe Raclette (Japan)
Maker: Akihito Kawase | Company: Cheese Professional Association
Category: Class 59 – Raclette

Goesser Bierkaese (Austria)
Maker: Franz Moestl & Team | Company: Almenland Stollenkaese GmbH
Category: Class 60 – Wine/Spirits Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Cheeses

St. Malachi Reserve (United States)
Maker: The Farm at Doe Run | Company: The Farm at Doe Run
Category: Class 74 – Open Class: Hard Cheeses with Natural Rind

Henri Willig Smokey Goat (Netherlands)
Maker: Kaasmakerij Henri Willig | Company: Kaasmakerij Henri Willig B.V.
Category: Class 99 – Hard’s Goat’s Milk Cheeses, Flavored

Petit Agour (France)
Maker: Agour | Company: Agour
Category: Class 104 – Hard Sheep’s Milk Cheeses, Mature (less than 6 months)

Arzberger Aurum (Austria)
Maker: Franz Moestl & Team | Company: Almenland Stollenkaese GmbH
Category: Class 108 – Washed Rind/Smear Ripened Sheep’s Milk Cheeses

Petit Agour with Truffle (France)
Maker: Agour | Company: Agour
Category: Class 109 – Sheep’s Milk Cheeses, Flavored

Click here to see all results from the 2024 WCCC.

Josie Krogh

Josie Krogh is culture's Digital Strategy Lead. She earned her master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from The University of Georgia. Josie developed a love of food while working at farmstands in the D.C. area as a young adult, and discovered her love of cheese while living and working on a dairy farm on Martha's Vineyard. She is passionate about the food supply chain, fresh stone fruit, and dogs. Josie currently lives in Catskill, NY.

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