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Waikato Cheese Makers

Fertile soils and a long-standing farming heritage have made the Waikato region renowned for its dairy industry, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also home to some of the best New Zealand cheese makers.

As the region’s farmers have begun to diversify and enter new markets, goat and sheep milk has become more readily available, adding a whole new dimension to cheese making in New Zealand.

Cheese makers

Mercer Cheese and Meyer Gouda Cheese are main-stayers and award winner on the national cheese scene. Farmers’ markets in the region are another great place to find great other Waikato cheese makers. Don’t miss local favourites including Pukeatua Peak, Cilantro and Aroha Organic Goat Cheese.

Award winning cheeses

The New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards recognise the best of the best when it comes to cheese making in New Zealand and cheese makers of the Waikato region have done particularly well at the awards in recent times.

Meyer Cheese received the very first Champions of Cheese Awards in 1994 and have since gone on to win many more. In 2020, they picked up the prestigious NZ Champions of Cheese 2020 Supreme Award for their Goat’s Milk Gouda.

Mercer Cheese was also awarded the Chefs’ Choice Special Award in 2020 for their Mercer Fifty Fifty cheese.

Cheese experiences

You can visit other local cheese makers such as Mercer Cheese at their retail shops or by appointment at their premises. The Gouda Cheese Shop in Hamilton is a great option for those looking for a range of artisan cheeses, including Meyer Cheese.