CHARLETTOWN, P.E.I - Cheesemaker Armand Bernard has been perfecting his craft for nearly 15 years, and his knowledge is paying off.

Last month Cows Creamery won a host of medals at the American Cheese Society Judging and Competition in Pittsburg.

“It's a recognition for us, it's a recognition for our milk producers, it's a recognition for Canadian milk,” Bernard tells CTV News.

Cows Creamery has been on top of the podium before at the same competition, winning a first-place award for a different kind of cheese.

But this year, its Avonlea clothbound cheddar beat out almost 2,000 cheeses from across North and South America, winning third best of all categories after a blind taste test.

“It takes about a year, year-and-a-half for this cheese to mature and we started tasting the flavours we were getting while it was maturing. We were pretty sure in our own minds we had a winning combination.” said Bernard.

Andrea White, the wholesale manager at the creamery, says the winning recipe is a closely-guarded secret.

“About 13 years ago our owner visited islands in the north of Scotland that's where his family roots are from. While he was there he met a cheesemaker, and took his recipe back here,” said White.

Cows produces about 2,500 wheels of its winning Avonlea clothbound cheddar every year.

“We've got to flip it every second day for the first month. For months two and three we flip it every two weeks and after that, once a month. It's got to be brushed to control the mould growth on the outside,” said Bernard.

"It's the taste that sells the cheese," said White,  "The awards help, but putting it in people's mouth's and having them taste it, that's what gets people excited about it."

White says they will be entering the competition again next year, looking for a first place finish.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis