Real California Cheeses Bring Home 29 Awards at American Cheese Society Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa

Printer Friendly, PDF & Email

TRACY, Calif. – July 20, 2023 – Cow’s milk cheese and dairy processors that use the Real California Milk seal brought home 29 awards from the 2023 annual cheese competition held by the American Cheese Society (ACS) in Des Moines, Iowa.


The American Cheese Society recognizes the finest cheeses and dairy products made in the Americas. A total of 1,454 cheese and cultured dairy products were entered into the competition. Cheeses made with 100% California cow’s milk had a strong showing this year in a field of 195 processors representing the United States and Canada.


California cheesemakers won a total of 45 awards – with Real California cow’s milk cheeses bringing home 29 prizes: 8 first-place, 12 second-place and 9 third-place awards in this year’s judging. Highlights from these wins include:

  • Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Pt. Reyes – 4 awards, 1st place each for Point Reyes California Coastal Blue and TomaProvence; 2nd each for Original Blue and Aged Gouda.
  • Rizo-Lopez Foods Inc., Modesto – 4 awards, 1st for Tio Francisco Queso Cotija; 2nd place each for Tia Francisco Panela and Rizo Lopez Cotija; and 3rd for Tio Francisco Oaxaca.
  • Rumiano Cheese Company, Crescent City – 4 awards, 1st place for Original Peppato Dry Jack; 2nd each for Raised to Matter Organic Original Ghee and Original Willow Maid Dry Jack; and 3rd Redwood Coast Organic Salted Butter.
  • Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, Willows – 3 awards*, 2nd for Organic Jack and 3rd each for Gina Marie Cream Cheese and Sierra Nevada Farmer Cheese.
  • Belfiore Cheese Company, Berkeley – 2 awards, 2nd each for Feta in Brine (12 oz.) and Marinated Ciliegine.
  • Oakdale Cheese Company, Oakdale – 2 awards, 1st each for Cumin Gouda and Stanislaus Reserve.
  • Sach Foods, Oakland – 2 awards, 2nd for Spicy Habanero Paneer and 3rd for Turmeric Twist Paneer.
  • Central Valley Cheese, Turlock – 1 award, 1st for Labne, Lactose Free.
  • Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma – 1 award, 2nd for Wagon Wheel.
  • Di Stefano Cheese Company, Pomona – 1 award, 3rd for Stracciatella.
  • Fiscalini Farmstead, Modesto – 1 award, 3rd for Lionza.
  • Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Nicasio – 1 award, 3rd for San Geronimo.
  • Marin French Cheese Company, Petaluma – 1 award, 1st for Petite Jalapeno.
  • Stuyt Dairy Cheese Co., Escalon – 1 award, 3rd for Garlic Herb Spread.
  • Yummy Industries, Riverbank – 1 award, 2nd for Cheese Bits Mozzamini Pearls, Wasabi.

In total, 15 Real California cow’s milk cheese and dairy companies won awards for products made with 100% Real California milk from the state’s more than 1,100 family dairy farms. California is the second largest cheese producing state in the nation, responsible for more than 2.4 billion pounds of cheese in 2021. Real California cheeses and dairy products are available at retailers throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Asia. For more information, visit: For more information on ACS competition winners and the ACS Conference, go to:


* Sierra Nevada Cheese Company also received awards for non-cow’s milk cheeses that do not carry the Real California Milk seal.




About Real California Milk/California Milk Advisory Board

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world. Connect with the CMAB at, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.