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Uplands Cheese


Wheel of Pleasant Ridge Reserve on Display in Madison, Wisconsin

Fifth in a Series of Seven posts on Wisconsin Farmstead and Artisan Cheeses

by Bill Anderson

Uplands Cheese Company in Dodgeville, Wisconsin is a farmstead creamery which produces the famed Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese.

They seasonally milk about 160 cows, using rotational grazing, and produce this raw milk gruyere-style cheese, inspired by the French alpine cheese Beaufort.  When young, Pleasant Ridge Reserve has a brothy and meaty flavor.  As it ages, it develops a sweet and savory caramelized flavor, with deep and complex aromas from the pastures on which the cows graze.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve is probably the most decorated cheese in the United States.  It has won the Best of Show at the American Cheese society 3 different times, and the best of show at the U.S. Cheese Championship once — the only cheese to ever win the “Best of Show” at both competitions.

When it was first made, Pleasant Ridge was produced at neighboring Cedar Grove Cheese factory (which will be covered in a future post) by Uplands owner Mike Gingrich and his wife Carol, before they built the farmstead creamery.


Mike and Carol Gingrich. Behind them are racks of Pleasant Ridge Reserve aging in Upland’s curing room.

Now, a decade later, Uplands is preparing to release their second cheese under the supervision of cheese maker Andy Hatch.  Rush Creek — modeled after the French alpine cheese Vacherin Mont D’or — is a rich and savory soft ripened cheese produced in the fall and winter once the pastures stop growing and the cows are eating stored feed.

Upland Farm's Andy Hatch, Cheesemaker

Andy Hatch, cheese maker at Upland Cheese Company.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Rush Creek can be purchased at many local cheese shops, and online at www.uplandscheese.com.

Bill Anderson is 25 year old cheese maker, now living in Ohio. Born in Wisconsin, and raised on lots of Wisconsin cheese, he became interested in raw milk and artisan dairy in his early 20?s, at local farmer’s markets and local food functions. Bill worked for a number of years as a cheese monger, and is now poised to begin producing artisan raw milk cheese from some of the best organic and sustainable dairy farms.

Tomorrow, Bleu Mont Dairy.


  1. Kimberly Hartke says:

    I bought some Pleasant Ridge Reserve while in Madison for the Raw Milk Symposium. I have ordered it since by mail. It is a delicious cheese with a surprising little crunch. Wild about this cheese! Glad to know the rest of the story! Thanks, Bill.

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