Chimney Rock Winery winemaker calls appearance on ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars’ ‘good for wine’
A Napa winemaker featured on the Fox series “Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars” last month called the experience with the famously explosive TV chef “good for wine” and “good for Wine Country.”
In the series, aspiring food entrepreneurs compete for a $250,000 investment from Ramsay to bring their business idea to fruition. In the June 7 episode, contestants had to blend their own wine after getting some instruction from Vianna, and create a wine-themed subscription box.
“For me, it’s all a point of pride about Chimney Rock,” Vianna said. “It’s seeing how beautiful it was, and what a great kind of testament to Napa Valley and how beautiful Wine Country is.”
The episode, filmed at the winery on the Silverado Trail in March 2022, gives viewers a glimpse into the blending and creativity that goes into a bottle, according to Vianna. “Millions of people will probably see this, so it’s good for wine. It’s good for Wine Country,” she said.
Initially, the winery was only intended to be a backdrop for the show, said Megan Driscoll, vice president of communications and public relations at Chimney Rock.
“They (the show’s producers) knew they wanted to do something in the wine industry, because wine subscription boxes are a billion-dollar industry. When they initially reached out ... they had a list of about 10 different wineries that they wanted to use as backdrops,” Driscoll said.
But after an informal tasting with Vianna at the winery and hearing about her blending philosophy, the producers decided to incorporate a blending competition with Vianna’s instruction into the episode.
“As we were tasting the wines, Elizabeth was talking about her blending philosophy, and it was almost as if a light bulb went off,” Driscoll said.
At the end of the episode, members of the local wine community judged the wine creations and entrepreneurial pitches.
Despite Ramsay’s reputation as a hothead, Vianna described the celebrity chef as “lovely.”
“The persona that you see in the shows is kind of entertainment. He’s actually a kind, wonderful human who’s great with his crew,” Vianna said. “He’s definitely intense and high-paced, so you can see why he’s as successful as he is.”