Sunday's quake in northeastern Italy destroyed more than 300,000 wheels of Parmesan and Grana Padano, a similar cheese, with an estimated value of more than NZ$421m, an industry official said.
"The earthquake was very strong and heavily damaged the structures of many warehouses as well as thousands of tonnes" of the two cheeses, said Stefano Berni, head of a consortium that protects the Grana Padano designation.
"It's a very heavy loss, but there have been no casualties, which is a great relief at this worrying time," he told the ANSA news agency.
An initial estimate of 250 million euros is "very conservative," Berni said, adding that he hoped no further tremors would "further aggravate the state of the already highly damaged and fragile structures."
A wheel of the cheese can weigh up to 40 kilograms.