July 1st – (Turner, OR) – Willamette Valley Vineyards, a leading Pinot Noir producer in Oregon, will host the finale of Season 18 of Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning Top Chef.
Announced on Episode 13 Bravo’s Top Chef in Portland, host Padma Lakshmi announced finalists Dawn Burrell, Gabe Erales and Shota Nakajima would head to Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon’s famous wine country to “create the best four-course progressive meal of your life.”
Willamette Valley Vineyards will join the ranks of Top Chef finale locations, including Tuscany, Italy (Season 17); Macau, China (Season 16); San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Season 12); Sentosa Island, Singapore (Season 7); San Juan, Puerto Rico (Season 4); and Waikoloa Village, Hawaii (Season 2); among others.
“We are honored to be selected for the finale location of Bravo’s Top Chef Portland which highlights some of the best experiences Oregon has to offer,” explained Winery Director Christine Clair. “The season has been remarkable so far; they have really captured the essence of Oregon and its culinary treasures,” Clair continued. “This is an exciting moment for Oregon and it is amazing for our winery to be a part of that, particularly during a year that has been challenging to the restaurant and culinary industry. This show couldn’t have come at a better moment.”
For the first time ever in the history of Top Chef, the culinary competition featured an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of All Star winners and finalists, including Richard Blais, Carrie Baird, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Edward Lee, Kwame Onwuachi, Amar Santana, Dale Talde and Brooke Williamson. They were joined by host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and judge Gail Simmons, all of whom will sit at the judge’s table at Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Estate Tasting Room in the Salem Hills to select the winner of Season 18.
The season explored the famous Hood River Fruit Loop, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, Tillamook Bay, Tualatin Valley and Willamette Valley wine country before it closes the season at Willamette Valley Vineyards, known for its gorgeous views of the estate vineyard and valley as well as a 65-foot lookout tower.
Top Chef is produced by the Emmy Award-winning production company Magical Elves with Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines and Hillary Olsen serving as executive producers. Top Chef airs on Thursdays at 8/7c on Bravo. Top Chef episodes are also available on Bravotv.com, the Bravo app and through video on-demand services with authentication.
About Willamette Valley Vineyards:
Founded in 1983 by Jim Bernau with the dream of creating world-class Pinot Noir while serving as stewards of the land, Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown from a bold idea into one of the region’s leading wineries, earning the title “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. All of the vineyards have been certified sustainable through LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon-Safe programs.