Peak District creamery's heritage products win gold at Artisan Cheese Awards

A small Peak District cheese producer claimed top honours at a national industry awards ceremony last week, with its owners saying the success is testament to generations of traditional Derbyshire expertise.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 6th May 2022, 11:11 am
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 11:14 am

Hartington Creamery, in Pikehall, took three gold and two bronze prizes at the Artisan Cheese Awards and Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray over the weekend of April 30, which saw more than 1,000 classes of every type of cheese judged by industry experts.

The wins included a gold award and the title of best protected name cheese for the company’s Dovedale blue, which judges awarded 96 out of a possible 100 points.

Robert Gosling, director of the creamery and its parent farm, said: “To win such a special award after two difficult years running a business under Covid restrictions is very reassuring that people value and want to support small producers.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

From left, reigning young cheesemaker of the year Ryan Gee, uncle Andy Gee, Lucy Taylor, and Diana Alcock.

The protected name category of cheeses refers to those historically linked to a particular region, known as a ‘protected designated origin’ (PDO) prior to Brexit and now a GI, or geographical interest, under UK law.

Dovedale cheese can only be made within 50 miles of the River Dove, to an exacting and monitored recipe. Hartington Creamery also makes two other GI cheeses, a white and blue Stilton – the latter also winning gold this year.The creamery’s other successes were gold for its Peakland white with black pepper, and bronze for its unique Peakland with chocolate and chilli, and the Devonshire gold blue cheese developed in partnership with Chatsworth.

Co-director Diana Alcock said: “As the only female licensed Stilton maker in the world, I am extremely proud of the achievements of our small team of dedicated cheesemakers. Here at Hartington, we still follow the same traditional hand-made methods which we have done for generations.”

The Artisan Cheese Awards are open to any UK or Irish cheesemakers who produce less than 400 tons of cheese a year. The two-day fair this year’s featured more than 50 exhibitors and attracted thousands of visitors.

Director Robert Gosling shows off the trophy.

Robert said: “It was a great shop window. From buyers of large companies to families looking for a fun day out, many people discovered what Great British cheese producers can offer. It was a fantastic opportunity to pitch our cheese against other great cheesemakers.”