The Australian Grand Dairy Awards Winners

We attended the Crème de la crème (literally) of dairy industry nights in Melbourne last week, at the 2018 Australian Grand Dairy Awards (ADGA). With a glass of high quality milk in one hand and wine in the other hand (yes, this actually did happen), we ate and drank our way through the cream of the crop of Australian dairy products.

Woombye washed rind cheese

The awards recognise the best of the best in dairy, only products which have won gold medals at state qualifying competitions during 2017 are invited to enter. Small artisan producers are in the mix with large industrial household brands, but the judging process is by blind tasting so the playing ground is levelled. The judging panel is made up of cheesemakers, retails, chefs and industry professionals who work their way through hundreds of products to narrow down to just one champion in each category.

We spoke to the chief judge Russell Smith in front of the gelati cart, while politely indulging in spoonfuls of Gundowring Licorice Ice Cream on what it’s like to be a cheese judge. Among other things, it involves flying around the world eating cheese. Best. Job. Ever. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it.

Mundella honey yoghurt

Here at The Cheese Riot we support even the smallest producers and we can confidently say that we know how to pick the best award winning cheese for our cheese boxes. Four of the champion cheeses awarded at AGDA were included in our boxes over the last couple of months, including cheese from Section28 and Berry’s Creek. Our pick of the bunch? The Section28 Monforte. It’s an alpine style cheese from the Adelaide Hills and is handcrafted in very limited quantities. As the cheese matures, a buttery and creamy taste couples with emerging roasted nut flavours to produce an earthy undertone. The Bega Heritage Reserve Vintage Cheddar also deserves a mention, it took us by surprise but the taste speaks for itself. Unfortunately this one is only available at the Heritage Centre at Bega, NSW.


The full list of 2018 AGDA winners:



Grand Champion Cheese

Montefiore Ovoline

Grand Champion Dairy Product

Pure Gelato Salted Pistachio

Fresh Unripened Cheese

Montefiore Ovoline    

White Mould Cheese

King Island Dairy Discovery Ash Brie 175g 

Semi-Hard and Eye Cheese

Section28 Artisan Cheese Monforte  

Cheddar Style Cheese

Bega Heritage Reserve Vintage Cheddar

Hard Cheese

Mil Lel Superior Parmesan Cheese

Blue Cheese

Berrys Creek Tarwin Blue

Washed Rind & Mixed Rind Cheese

Woombye Blackall GoldWashed Rind 

Flavoured Cheese

Section 28 Monte Diavolo

Goat's or Sheep's Milk Cheese

Berrys Creek Riverine Blue

Natural Yoghurt

Jalna Greek Natural Yoghurt

Flavoured Dairy Drink

Dare Iced Coffee Double Espresso


The Little Big Dairy Co Pure Double Cream

Butter or Butter Blend

Western Star Chef’s Choice Unsalted Cultured Butter

Flavoured Yoghurt

Mundella Greek Honey Yoghurt

Ice Cream

Gundowring Licorice Ice Cream

Dairy Gelato 

Pure Gelato Salted Pistachio


Maleny Dairies Farmers Choice Guernsey Non-Homogenised Full Cream Milk

Specialty White Dairy Drink

Masters HiLo    





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