Uplands Cheese Company. Dodgeville, Wisconsin

Uplands Cheese Company is owned and operated by two families: Andy and Caitlin Hatch, and Scott and Liana Mericka. Andy and Scott bought the farm from the founders and original owners, Mike Gingrich and Dan Patenaude, in 2014. Uplands was originally established in 2000 by Mike and Carol Gingrich and Dan and Jeanne Patenaude on Pleasant Ridge in the Uplands region of southwestern Wisconsin. Both had been farming separately as neighbors, and they decided to join forces to allow the Patenaudes to focus on making high quality milk and for the Gingriches to focus on making cheese. The Patenaudes were among the first in America to adopt the principles of rotational grazing. Between the grass-based diet and their high quality breeding and genetics, they knew they had something special with their milk.

Mike and Carol wanted to continue southwestern Wisconsin's tradition of crafting fine Alpine-style cheeses . The area was largely settled by Swiss immigrants in the early 20th century, and thanks to some know-how provided by Wisconsin's Center for Dairy Research, they found that their milk was ideally suited the types of cheeses that hailed from the high Alpine pastures. The rhythms of their farm also dovetailed nicely with the Alpine-style cheesemaking traditions, where cheese is made seasonally, in the summer months only, when the cows are out grazing on pasture. Mike and Carol traveled to Europe to research traditional Alpine-style cheesemaking, and began crafting wheels of Pleasant Ridge Reserve. They met with much acclaim almost immediately - Pleasant Ridge Reserve was named 'Best in Show' at the American Cheese Society Conference three times in ten years - in 2001, 2005, and 2010.

In 2007 Andy came to work at Uplands as a cheesemaker. He had studied cheesemaking at the University of Wisconsin, and dreamed on one day owning and operating his own small-scale farm and cheese business. Scott came to Uplands in 2010, and both spent years learning the methods of the founders before Andy took over the cheesemaking for Mike and Scott took over the farming side of the business from Dan.

Wrapping cheese at Uplands Cheese Company

Cheeses From This Farm

  • Pleasant Ridge Reserve
  • Pleasant Ridge Reserve Extra Aged
  • Rush Creek Reserve
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Photo Credits: Uplands Cheese Company