Red Barn Family Farms Vintage Cupola Cheese Wins First Runner Up at U.S. Championship Cheese Contest
Updated: Aug 11
Red Barn Family Farms, an Appleton family-owned dairy company, is proud to announce that its Vintage Cupola American Original Cheese earned the First Runner Up title at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest on Thursday, February 23, 2023, earning a score of 98.163 points out of 100 possible points.
The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, hosted biennially by the Wisconsin Cheesemakers
Association since 1981, is the nation’s premier cheese, butter, yogurt and dry dairy ingredient
competition. This year’s competition was held at Resch Expo in Green Bay, Wisconsin, February 21-23 and boasted 2249 entries submitted across 113 classes by cheesemakers from 35 states.
At the competition on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, Vintage Cupola cheese won the Best of Class award in the Open Class Hard Cheese category.
Vintage Cupola American Original cheese also won the Best of Class award in the original recipe cow’s milk category at the 2022 American Cheese Society competition. Cupola also won a Best of Class award in the same category and competition in 2019.
This original recipe cheese is hand-crafted in small batches with milk from Red Barn’s small
Vintage Cupola is a semi-hard raw milk variety with a unique flavor and texture boasting
qualities of a gouda and a well-aged parmesan. Aged a minimum of two years, the texture is
smooth and supple with crystallization. The flavor is layered with nuttiness and caramelization with pronounced notes of toasted pineapple. Vintage Cupola is a stand-alone cheese that works well as a snack or appetizer. But it also pairs well with tropical fruits, gourmet caramels, bold beverages, and smoky charcuterie. It melts well to bring roasted vegetables or risotto to new levels.
Vintage Cupola was named after the small structure at the top – or pinnacle – of traditional
Wisconsin barns. A pinnacle cheese for Red Barn, Vintage Cupola is an American original
variety that combines top-quality milk, an excellent cheesemaker and a recipe perfected with the help of the Center for Dairy Research at UW-Madison over a three-year time period.
Red Barn Family Farms mission is to honor and sustain excellent small family farms in
Wisconsin and to advocate for ethical dairy farming. The company was founded in 2008 by
veterinarian Dr Terry Homan and wife Paula Homan. Red Barn uses milk from seven small
family farms in NE Wisconsin, hand-selected for their ability to meet “The Red Barn Rules”.
These rules revolve around rigorous milk quality and animal health/welfare requirements, linking excellence in animal husbandry to excellence in food quality.
Red Barn Family Farms uses a unique fair-trade pay model, not linked to the commodity market, to compensate its producing farms. “The goal is to not only reward and incentivize excellence,” said Dr. Terry Homan, veterinarian, and founder of Red Barn Family Farms. “We also want to help keep these types of farms as viable business models into the future.”
Each farm must be both family owned and operated, meaning the family members are doing the majority of the farm labor. The producing farms milk an average of just 55 pasture-raised cows, all known and cared for by name. The farms are also certified by the American Humane Association.
“I feel strongly about the value of the small family farm,” said Dr Homan. “Because of their
unique size, they have the ability to know their animals individually, by personality, and can
provide care tailored specifically to each animal. This leads to better health which affects the
quality of the milk.”
“Red Barn was humbled and thrilled to compete so well against U.S. cheesemakers with long-standing reputations for excellence,” said Paula Homan, cofounder of Red Barn Family Farms. “We’re proud of the commitment to excellence of our small family farms. We’re grateful for the work of the Center for Dairy Research on this recipe, and we recognize the expertise of our cheesemaker.” Red Barn Family Farms also values its customers who support the brand’s mission to preserve and sustain excellent small family farms in Wisconsin.