Our last tour was at Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville. They make award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Rush Creek Reserve. Meet Andy Hatch – he’s a cheesemaker with an attitude (seriously, he had the best sense of humor. He’d shoot off sarcastic comments so gracefully you didn’t even know they were coming).
It goes without saying, but it was gorgeous driving through the farmland to get to Uplands. It’s so incredibly peaceful out there.
Me and Lisa (from Fit in the Midwest) striking a pose.
Andy showed us how cheese is made. He said the best cheese starts with the best milk. Uplands only uses milk from their own cows. They actually breed 9 different breeds together to get the flavor of milk they want. Their Pleasant Ridge Reserve is their take on an alpine-style cheese like Gruyere and Beaufort. They only make this variety between May and October while their cows are grazing on fresh pasture. Andy said the flavor complexity of the cheese can’t be duplicated when their cows eat machine-harvested feed. How interesting is that!?
Andy said they created a mega wheel of cheese to celebrate the birth of their son. Now that’s fatherly love!
Because Rush Creek Reserve is only make in the fall, we only got to taste their Pleasant Ridge. It was very rich and flavorful. It doesn’t taste like anything you’d find in a run-of-the-mill grocery store.
In fact, Pleasant Ridge Reserve was named “Best of Show” at the 2001, 2005 and 2012 American Cheese Society Competitions.
Thanks again to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board for sponsoring our trip!