Local Cheese Manufactures Recognized At NY State Fair

Castelli America received an award of excellence at the New York State Fair’s Dairy Competition in the ricotta cheese category. Castelli America, a new subsidiary of Nuova Castelli Group, has a plant in Blockville and began operations September 2016. P-J file photo

Locally made cheese products received recognition at the New York State Fair as two companies came home with awards from the annual dairy products competition.

Reverie Creamery in North Harmony received the silver medal in the artisan cow’s milk soft cheese category. The creamery submitted its “Wanderer” cheese, which is alpine washed with local Porter made by Southern Tier Brewery. The cheese uses raw milk and was aged between four and six months.

Riko Chandra, co-owner and cheesemaker, said the cheese is washed with wine, herbs and spices. He said the cheese is a unique and authentic product. Chandra said he was happy to come away with the silver knowing all the great cheese products competing at the fair.

“We’re happy just to be appreciated,” he said.

The cheese is available for purchase at its location on Route 394 in North Harmony.

Reverie Creamery’s “Wanderer” cheese placed second at the New York State Fair’s Dairy Competition. The cheese competed in the farmstead/artisan cow’s milk hard cheese category. The cheese score was a half point shy of tying the first-place product from Easthill Creamery. Submitted photo

Chandra said he gives credit to Rachel Vaillancourt, assistant cheesemaker, for her work in making and selecting the cheese for competition.

“She selected the specific batch for the competition,” Chandra said. “She worked so hard on it.”

Last year, Reverie Creamery came away with the gold medal for its tomme-style cheese. This year, they were a half point away from tying the first-place product that came from Easthill Creamery.

Castelli America in Blockville came away with an award of excellence for its ricotta cheese. Castelli America is a subsidiary of Nuova Castelli Group, an Italy-based cheese producer and distributor.

Castelli is the second-largest cheese manufacturer in Italy and the first manufacturer of protected designation of origin cheeses including Parmigiano Reggiano, parmesan cheese, and Grana Padano, a hard, semi-fat cheese.

The company began operations in late September 2016 after taking over Empire Specialty Cheese’s manufacturing plant on Fairbanks Road.