Finalists

You voted in your thousands - over 9,000 votes in fact. We are now delighted to announce the cheeses, producers and retailers who received the most votes in each category. These finalists have made their way to the specialist judging tasting and we will announce the overall category winners in an awards ceremony on 11 October.

Visit the links below to jump to category finalists.

Partners

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Neal's Yard Dairy 

Neal's Yard Dairy select, mature and sell farmhouse cheese from the UK and Ireland. They work directly with about 40 cheesemakers visiting them regularly to taste their cheese with them and selecting the batches they want to mature and sell. With three cheese shops in London and an online shop, they are also a regular sight at events around the country.

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The Cheese Hamlet 

The Cheese Hamlet is a family run independent cheese specialist established in 1960 and based in Didsbury, South Manchester.

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George & Joseph Cheesemongers 

Leeds' only specialist cheesemongers, opened in Chapel Allerton in 2013. They source and stock the finest locally produced Yorkshire cheeses, along with a selection of the best cheeses from the UK and further afield.

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Country Cheeses 

Country Cheeses started 25 years ago with a table in Tavistock’s Pannier Market, six cheeses, and loads of enthusiasm for eating ‘real’ cheese, and now has progressed on to three shops that all sell a variety of regional cheeses

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The Bristol Cheesemonger 

The Bristol Cheesemonger is a small independent cheesemonger, specialising in seasonal, local and territorial British cheeses. With a focus on South West produce, the cheeses are all made by small independent dairies and farms.

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The Courtyard Dairy 

The Courtyard Dairy’s owners have selected only the absolute best cheeses from small farms. The cheeses are then given a magical touch of special maturing, learnt first-hand from working for the most famous cheese-mongers of France and England.

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Fen Farm Dairy 

The Crickmore family have been farming the land at Fen Farm for three generations. Their herd of Montbeliarde and Friesian cows graze on the beautiful marshlands of the Waveney River Valley in Suffolk. The family are dedicated to carefully making their delicious raw milk into the finest cheese.

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Northumberland Cheese Company 

Founded in 1984 by Marc Robertson on Soppit Farm, in Elsdon, their small cheese hub is based in Blagdon. A converted granary building, which houses their dairy, despatch, offices, and a Cheese Loft Café.

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Teesdale Cheesemakers 

Teesdale Cheesemakers was formally Leaside Cheesemakers, founded by Brian and Esme Dedman in 2012. Now a husband and wife team Allison and Jonathan Raper, took over the business in January 2016. They make four soft cheeses: Teesdale Blue, Teesdale White, Teesdale Goat (launched in October 2016), & a flavoured Teesdale Curd cheese.

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Marlow Cheese Company 

Lynda Hill created her own micro dairy in 2015 after attending an introductory Cheese course at the Artisan School of Food in Nottinghamshire. Passionate about keeping things local she approached her local dairy the family owned Lacey's Dairy in Lane End, and uses their 100% pure Guernsey herd produce milk for her cheese.

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Cote Hill Cheese 

Michael and Mary Davenport have been farming and milking cows at Cote Hill Farm in Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. They started making cheese in October 2005 using milk produced by their herd of 70 Friesian, Holstein and Red Poll cows.

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Errington Cheese 

The Errington family moved from Dumfriesshire to Lanarkshire in 1981, running as a mixed farming enterprise of beef cattle and sheep. Humphrey Errington started looking at ways of diversifying and became interested in sheep milking and ewes milk cheese because of the ancient tradition of this activity in the Upper Clyde area. Cheese making began in 1983 on a small scale and now the farming enterprise is geared to the need for ewes' milk in order to keep up with the growing demand for the cheese.

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Cornish Jack 

Cornish Jack is a traditional farmhouse Swiss cheese with numerous small eyes made in Port Isaac. It is full fat hard cheese and with a fruity flavour and nutty tones.

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Hafod Cheddar 

Hafod is a traditional hard cheese handmade on Wales’ longest certified organic dairy farm, Bwlchwernen Fawr. A unique combination of organic Ayrshire milk and traditional cheesemaking techniques give Hafod its buttery, rich and nutty flavours.

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Northumberland Nettle 

A modern cheddar style of cheese with nettles and herbs mixed in the cheese. It is a creamy semi-hard cheese with a delicate lasting yet subtle nettle flavour.

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Cornish Yarg 

This nettle wrapped Cornish Yarg made from pasteurised cows’ milk is a fresh, lemony cheese. It is creamy under its natural rind and slightly crumbly in the core.

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Lincolnshire Poacher 

The flavour and texture of the cheese varies both daily and seasonally depending on time of year, stage of lactation, weather and an infinite number of other factors. It is usually matured for about 14 to 16 months and has quite a lot upfront with a rich full flavour.

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Appleby's Cheshire 

Appleby’s Cheshire has a balance of rich mineral flavours and acidity with a crumbly texture that’s not overly dry. The traditional recipe has been handed down through generations of the Appleby family. It is clean and zesty on the tongue followed by a rich mouth watering finish.

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Cornish Blue 

Cornish Blue Cheese has been produced on the Stansfield’s Farm on Bodmin Moor since 2001. The sweet mild creamy cheese of distinctive character is designed to be eaten young giving a very different style to traditional blue cheeses.

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Beenleigh Blue 

Beenleigh Blue is a modern, farmhouse, pasteurised, vegetarian, blue cheese made from sheep's milk. It is one of the few blue sheep’s milk cheeses produced in Britain.

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Lanark Blue 

Lanark Blue cheese is made from unpasteurised Lacaune ewes milk. The milk is pumped across from Errington Cheese's parlour each morning to vats less than 20 metres away. The cheese matures in cool and moist traditional stone buildings in Lanark, Scotland giving it its unique flavour.

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Barkham Blue 

Barkham Blue has a very distinctive appearance. Made in a 1kg ammonite shaped round, it is covered in an attractive natural mould ripened rustic rind. It has a rich blue taste, smooth buttery texture with a melt in the mouth flavour, without the harshness associated with some blue cheese.

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Leeds Blue 

Mario Olianas comes from a family of Italian gourmets and cheese-makers. He uses sheep’s milk from Harrogate to create this smooth, rich and creamy blue cheese.

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Yorkshire Blue 

Yorkshire Blue is handmade and matured over eight weeks. Each week, cheesemaker sisters Caroline and Katie, turn each individual cheese by hand, which achieves the lovely blue veining and smooth texture. Buttery, sweet and mild, it makes an ideal introduction to blue cheese.

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Perl Wen 

This modern Welsh cheese looks like Brie and has a similar texture. However it has the fresh citrus, creamy flavour of Caerphilly with an underlying hint of sea salt.

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Renegade Monk 

A soft cheese, whose exterior is rubbed with beer every couple of days, to encourage the growth of friendly cultures and moulds. These soften and sweeten the cheese and deepen the colour of the rind. In terms of taste, think of a Cambozola – but then imagine the outside of a Vacherin or Epoisses.

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Wigmore 

Wigmore cheese is produced in the village of Risley in Berkshire and made by Anne and Andy Wigmore from ewes milk. It is a creamy and crumbly cheese with a bloomy natural rind, which takes 8 weeks to fully ripen.

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Godminster Brie 

Godminster's Organic Brie is handmade by cheesemakers Malcolm and Steve Dyer in Bruton, Somerset. Traditionally ripened, with a soft white mould that covers the mature cheese. The inside is a smooth, pale off-white and the taste is full and rich with subtle depths and hints of mushroom. As the cheese ripens, the inside texture develops from chalky firmness to a smooth creaminess.

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Connage Clava Brie 

Clava is named after the prehistoric burial cairns of Balnuaran of Clava a few miles the Connage family farm in the Scottish Highlands. Their circular ring structure is mirrored in the Brie style cheese. As it ripens, Clava becomes silky and at its best when the texture has become soft and luscious.

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Tunworth 

Tunworth has a long lasting sweet, nutty flavour and a creamy texture with a thin wrinkled rind. It is made by hand in small batches in the purpose built creamery with pasteurised whole cows milk.

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Cornish Yarg 

This nettle wrapped Cornish Yarg made from pasteurised cows’ milk is a fresh, lemony cheese. It is creamy under its natural rind and slightly crumbly in the core.

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Cornish Blue 

Cornish Blue Cheese has been produced on the Stansfield’s Farm on Bodmin Moor since 2001. The sweet mild creamy cheese of distinctive character is designed to be eaten young giving a very different style to traditional blue cheeses.

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Godminster Organic Brie 

Godminster's Organic Brie is handmade by cheesemakers Malcolm and Steve Dyer in Bruton, Somerset. Traditionally ripened, with a soft white mould that covers the mature cheese. The inside is a smooth, pale off-white and the taste is full and rich with subtle depths and hints of mushroom. As the cheese ripens, the inside texture develops from chalky firmness to a smooth creaminess.

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Stanage Millstone 

Stanage Millstone is a creamy, bloomy rind cheese made by hand in small batches at Cow Close Farm, using milk from a neighbouring herd of Hathersage cows. Stanage Millstone is named after the gritstone millstones that dot the farmland (and the surrounding Stanage/North Lees Estate), and each cheese is shaped with a hole in the centre in their honour.

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St Bartholomew & Bix 

Nettlebed Creamery makes two unpasteurised cheeses using certified organic milk from Merrimoles Farm which spans the Oxfordshire villages of Nettlebed and Bix. The farm has been organic since 2001 and its healthy, robust herd comprises a three-way cross of Montbéliarde, Swedish Red and Holstein Friesian. The cows graze on grass and clover leys with additional herbs such as chicory, plantain and yarrow. The quality of the milk and the terroir of the farm is expressed wonderfully in the cheeses.

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Young Buck 

Michael Thomson went from cheese enthusiast at Arcadia Deli in Belfast to cheese making student. Upon graduating he gained experience from some of the UK leading artisan cheesemakers. With the desire to produce his own cheese within Northern Ireland Michael turned to crowdfunding platform, seedrs. He is now operating out of Newtownards, buying milk from a single herd and is supplying Northern Ireland with its first raw milk cheese.

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Sinodun Hill 

Sinodun Hill is a ripened goats’ cheese pyramid, similar in style to a Pouligny and other French goats’ cheeses. It is made using the traditional method of slow lactic coagulation and is then matured for up to 21 days to develop the flavour and texture. The result is a more flavoursome cheese with a light nutty edge and a smooth texture. Its rind naturally develops some blue and grey moulds as it ages, which add to the flavour and character of the cheese.

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Fellstone 

Tom and Clare Noblet started to make cheese in 2015 on Whin Yeats Dairy farm on the edge of the Lake District. Based on a traditional old ‘dales’ recipe of the north of England, Fellstone is aged for three months by which time it has the fresh lemony-lactic flavours of a good Wensleydale, with a supple, firmer texture.