Laura Chenel Ash-Rind Buchette Wins Best of Show at 2019 Cal State Fair

Sonoma, CA —Laura Chenel’s Ash-Rind Buchette, a gorgeous Geotrichum-rind cheese, won the Best of Show award in the open category at the 2019 California State Fair in Sacramento.

Laura Chenel (along with Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, the Best of Show winner for cow’s milk cheese) will be recognized in a ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol on June 27, 2019, followed that evening by the California Tasting Reception and the California State Fair Gala.

Ash-Rind Buchette (meaning ‘small log’ in French) is a delicate, soft-ripened California original made in the traditional style of Geotrichum-rind goat cheese from the Loire Valley. Ash-Rind Buchette is dusted with vegetable ash and aged for 8-12 days, emerging with a beautiful patterned mold that resembles coral. Each log is then carefully wrapped in breathable film and snuggled into small wood cups for easy, elegant serving.

The flavor of Ash-Rind Buchette ranges from mild with a delicate tang to pleasantly funky with buttery notes as well as a cream line that forms beneath the tender edible rind and spreads toward the chalky center. Enjoy it with a crisp white wine or a fruity IPA.

The trailblazing creamery introduced goat cheese to Bay Area farmers’ markets and iconic restaurants and retailers when its namesake founder began producing French-style goat cheese with fresh milk from her Sonoma herd 40 years ago. The Best of Show award recognizes the craftsmanship and unique character of Ash-Rind Buchette and marks the first time Laura Chenel has won a Best of Show award.

A dozen Cal Expo cheese judges who represent the industry’s most respected cheese merchants, writers, promoters and educators selected Ash-Rind Buchette from a field of 126 cheeses representing 20 California cheese companies ranging from small artisan producers to large-scale companies.

Judge Mary Dedrick, owner of Dedrick’s Cheese in Placerville, told The Sacramento Bee she’d never tasted anything like Ash-Rind Buchette. “People talk about ‘I don’t like to eat goat cheese’ . . . This was an example of a really beautiful goat cheese that anybody would eat,” Dedrick said.

“What better way to celebrate 40 years in the specialty cheese industry? Needless to say, we’re so proud — of our cheese and our outstanding creamery team,” said Laura Chenel C.E.O. Eric Barthome. “The Ash-Rind Buchette exemplifies the best of our philosophy and we’re very excited to share it with our long-time fans and new food lovers who have yet to discover us.”

Laura Chenel cheeses won four other awards at the Cal State Fair including:

• Silver for Laura Chenel 8-ounce Original Log, the signature cheese that Alice Waters used to crown Chez Panisse’s iconic mixed greens salad. 

• Silver for Laura Chenel Fig & Grapefruit 5.4-ounce flavored log, featuring a clear, fresh flavor sweetened slightly by figs and citrus.

• Silver for Laura Chenel Spreadable Goat Cheese perfect for cream cheese lovers.

• Bronze for Laura Chenel Garlic & Chive 5.4-ounce flavored log, a new flavor introduced as part of Laura Chenel’s 40thanniversary. 

Look for Laura Chenel’s award-winning cheeses at specialty grocers and cheese shops in California. Ash-Rind Buchette is currently in limited distribution but, as production increases in 2019, it will become more widely available on the West Coast.

About Laura Chenel

Laura Chenel introduced a new chapter in American cheese in 1979 when she started making farmstead goat cheese with milk from her own goats using techniques she learned in France.

Today, Laura Chenel still embodies its founding namesake’s pioneering spirit as a leading producer of fresh and aged goat cheeses and goat yogurts crafted with fresh goat’s milk from family-owned farms in California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, Laura Chenel is the first creamery in the U.S. to be awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification and its commitment to sustainable practices, including solar energy and recycling, helps preserve the terroir for generations to come.

For more information, visit (

About the California State Fair 
The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State’s future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12 – 28, 2019.