Hundreds of cheese makers across the country entered their coveted cheddars, Gorgonzolas and a string of other cheeses into the 2013 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.
Laura Chenel's Chevre nabbed second place for its “fresh chevre log in the category “Soft Goat's Milk Cheese.” It received a 99.1 score out of 100.
Not surprisingly, Wisconsin won a bulk of the awards, but a few other Californian companies were bestowed with the cheesy prize, including Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese from Marin County.
The Laura Chenel cheeses are made in on Carneros Vineyard Way in Sonoma. The 30,000-square-foot facility was built in 2011.
This New York Times article details the history of Laura Chenel's Chevre.
Laura Chenel's Chevre began in 1979 on a Sebastopol farm as a cottage business for Laura Chenel, who made cheese when she wasn't waiting tables. Two years in, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse tried the cheese, loved it and added it to her restaurant's menu. Today the company sells more than 2 million pounds of cheese a year.
Laura Chenel sold her namesake business to a French company in 2006. She still lives in the Sonoma Hills.
Find the cheeses at Whole Foods Market or Safeway, both on West Napa Street.
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