The stellar cheesemakers of the North Bay took home a bevy of blue ribbons at the 2013 American Cheese Society's annual Judging and Competition, held earlier this month in Madison, Wis.

Among the winners were Bellwether Farms of Petaluma, which won a first place for its sheep's milk Pepato, a second place for its cow's milk Fromage Blanc and second place for its cow's milk Creme Fraiche.

The Marin French Cheese Company of Petaluma won a first place for its soft-ripened Truffle Brie and a third place for its soft-ripened Traditional Brie.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. of Point Reyes Station won a first place for its Point Reyes Fresh Mozzarella and a third place for its cow's milk Point Reyes Bay Blue.

Cypress Grove Chevre of Arcata won a first place for its soft-ripened, goat's milk Bermuda Triangle; a first place for its rindless goat's milk Cypress Grove Chevre; a second place for its goat's milk Humboldt Fog Grande; and a second place for its goat's milk Purple Haze.

Laura Chenel's Chevre of Sonoma won first place for its fresh, goat's milk Laura Chenel's Chevre Crottin and a first place for its marinated, goat's milk Laura Chenel's Chevre Cabecou.

Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol won a first place for its cultured, goat's milk Redwood Hill Farm Plain Kefir.

Nicasio Valley Cheese Co. of Nicasio won a second place for its aged, cow's milk San Geronimo.

Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station won a third place for its cow's milk Creme Fraiche.

Pennyroyal Farm of Boonville won a third place for its raw, mixed milk Boonter's Blue.

Rumiano Cheese Co. of Crescent City won a third place for its cow's milk Dry Monterey Jack.

The American Cheese Society, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, encourages the understanding and promotion of farmstead and natural specialty cheeses produced in the U.S. and Canada.

For a list of complete winners, go to cheesesociety.org.

<i>Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.</i>