For the Antigo Times
Sartori Company’s Black Pepper BellaVitano won “Grand Champion” title of the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, outscoring more than 2,000 entries from 33 states. The cheese, a creation by Sartori’s Master Cheesemakers and Team Members, was lauded by the judges for its impeccable balance — the creamy, nuttiness of the aged cheese combined with the bright and bold flavors of fresh-cracked black pepper.
“We look forward to this competition every year,” said Jim Sartori, CEO of Sartori. “To win the title of Grand Champion, when we know perfectly well how many talented cheeses were in the competition, makes me proud of all of our incredibly hard-working Team Members.”
Black Pepper BellaVitano scored a near-perfect 99.018, edging out the other Wisconsin cheesemakers in the First and Second Runner Up slots. The Grand Champion title adds to Black Pepper BellaVitano’s already impressive resume — only last November the Sartori cheese earned a Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards.
“Black Pepper BellaVitano earning the ‘Grand Champion’ title is a testament to the talent of our farmers, cheesemakers and Team Members,” said Jeff Schwager, president of Sartori. “It’s also confirmation that our artisan approach to cheesemaking, when paired with premium ingredients and flavor profiles, works.”
Black Pepper BellaVitano is a staple in Sartori’s Reserve line of cheese, which showcases an array of artisan flavors, and can be purchased in stores or online at http://shop.sartoricheese.com/.