Central Point, OR – Oregon cheesemaker Rogue Creamery announces that its 2021 vintage of the reigning World Champion Cheese, Rogue River Blue, will be released and celebrated on the Autumnal Equinox, September 22.
This aged blue cheese won the title of World Champion at the 2019/20 World Cheese Awards, held in Bergamo, Italy. It was the first American-made cheese ever to achieve this top honor in cheesemaking. Rogue River Blue will maintain its world champion status through this fall.
Cheesemongers and connoisseurs from Portland to New York, Spain to Australia are eager to get their hands on the new vintage of Rogue River Blue.
“I’ve been selling [Rogue River Blue] in my shop for about 18 years,” commented Susan Morris, proprietor of Cheese on Main in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. “Though mine is a very small shop, this cheese sells faster than I ever could have imagined it would. Last year it sold out in just a few weeks, so this year I decided to double my order. Everyone is waiting for it!”
At Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Austin, TX, the team is equally excited. “Rogue River Blue is a true celebration of joy,” says Nicholas Kadrlik, Director of Retail. “From its whimsical, almost gift-wrapped wheel to the sweet, fruity aroma, every moment you spend with this cheese reminds you of the passion and love of the Rogue Creamery Team.”
All of the organic cow’s milk used to make this cheese is sourced from the Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm, located outside Grants Pass, OR. To make Rogue River Blue, they only use milk collected in the fall, when fresh rains bring renewed growth in the pastures and their cow’s milk is at its best. After cave aging the wheels for nine to 11 months, Rogue Creamery wraps the cheese in organic, biodynamic Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear spirits. Complex notes of brandy, vanilla, toffee, truffle, and fig – along with a pronounced “blue” flavor – make this distinctive cheese a true representation of Oregon’s Rogue River Valley.
“[Rogue River Blue] was notably superior to the others, it was a perfect sample. Balanced in salt and slightly sweet, tailored to be spicy, creamy, not bitter,” 2019 World Cheese Awards competition judge Bruno Cabral of La Caseïna in Vic, Catalonia reminisces on his decision to champion Rogue River Blue at the “Super Gold” table of the year’s top-scoring cheeses. Cabral had never experienced the blue before and was convinced there would be no cheese superior.
He was, of course, correct. In a blind tasting of 3,800 cheeses from 42 countries, Rogue River Blue was ranked the best cheese of the year – surpassing European cheeses that have been perfected for centuries, including an exceptional Parmigiano-Reggiano which narrowly took second place.
“The release of Rogue River Blue is our favorite time of year. It’s always exciting to taste a recipe I’ve been working on for 19 years and see what unique flavors arise in each year’s vintage,” says David Gremmels, president of Rogue Creamery, who has been dubbed “Mr. Blue.”
Gremmels shared that the 2021 Rogue River Blue exhibits sweet and spicy flavors with heady notes of fermented fruit, comice pear, and brown butter. Fudgy and rich, it boasts ample brushite (calcium phosphate) crystals that develop with age, providing a textural complexity that makes Rogue River Blue distinctive.
Due to ever-increasing public demand and its limited, seasonal availability, Rogue River Blue is expected to sell out very quickly. It will be offered for sale at RogueCreamery.com beginning September 22, 2021, and will be available at select grocers, specialty food stores, and independent cheese shops nationwide into the fall.
About Rogue Creamery: Rogue Creamery is a USDA certified organic cheese maker located in Central Point, Oregon. Over the past 88 years, Rogue Creamery has drawn from the beauty and flavors of Southern Oregon’s Rogue River Valley to create organic, handcrafted cheeses that have won international acclaim. But creating the world’s best cheese is only part of Rogue’s mission. They know that business – and in their case, cheese – can be used as a force for good. That’s why they became Oregon’s first public benefit corporation, “B Corp” for short, joining a global movement of companies that are committed to making the world a better place. Rogue Creamery is committed to making a difference socially, economically, and environmentally. Learn more at roguecreamery.com.