Bill Terlato Returns to Bravo's "Top Chef: Texas" Finale as a Guest Judge

Terlato CEO and Terlato Wines Are Again in the Mix as Season 9 Winner is Selected

Feb 27, 2012, 13:03 ET from Terlato Wines International

LAKE BLUFF, Ill., Feb. 27, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- Bill Terlato of family-owned Terlato Wine Group again joins an elite group of leading chefs and food personalities during the finale of Top Chef: Texas.  The Terlato Wines President & CEO will appear as a guest judge alongside the Top Chef regulars — host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and judge Gail Simmons — as well as chefs Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson when the episode airs on Bravo, Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

As he did last year, Terlato will lend opinions and expertise as the panel of judges determines the winning chef among the last two remaining "chef'testants," who will be asked to deliver stunning, multicourse meals that will include dishes paired with wines from the renowned Terlato portfolio.

"I'm pleased to be asked back as the competition at a Top Chef finale is an intense and exciting experience," Terlato said. "It's an honor to be able to offer viewpoints on the work of talented chefs, and to do it with professionals I have respected and admired for years," Terlato added. "Having our wines play an integral part in the finale is especially gratifying because the pairing of exceptional wines and fine dining has been a cornerstone of our family's passion for decades."

This is the second consecutive year Bill Terlato has participated as a guest judge in the finale, and his third appearance in four years in the final episode.

Wines from Terlato's portfolio have been served on Top Chef for the past seven seasons.  In 2009, significant portions of the two-part finale in Napa Valley were filmed at the Terlato-owned Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill wineries. At that time, Bill became the first wine company executive to appear as a guest judge, while his father, Tony Terlato, Founder and Chairman of Terlato Wines, hosted a wine tasting for four finalists in the historic caves of his Rutherford Hill Winery. Bill and his brother, John, were on the "Restaurant Wars" episode of Top Chef in 2010, and the winner of that night's competition was awarded an autographed 3-liter bottle of Terlato Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and a trip to the Terlato family's vineyards in Napa Valley.

This year's finale was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Bravo Media and Terlato Wines are partners for a collection of wines called "Quickfire." Named for Top Chef's exciting Quickfire challenge where chef'testants compete in fast-paced culinary trials, these Quickfire wines take the ultimate challenge – to be versatile enough to complement a wide range of food styles and judges. The collection includes Quickfire Sauvignon Blanc, Quickfire Pinot Gris, Quickfire Zinfandel, Quickfire Merlot, Quickfire Pinot Noir, Quickfire Chardonnay and Quickfire Cabernet Sauvignon.

Terlato Wines International (TWI) has a global portfolio of more than 50 brands from an array of world class wine producers and presently markets more than one out of ten bottles of wine over $14 sold in America. According to Nielsen AdViews, Terlato Wines accounts for 26 percent of all advertising dollars spent among Luxury Wine companies—the leader in the category. TWI garners more 90+ ratings than any wine company in the world and is a division of the Terlato Wine Group, the parent company comprising several businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. Owned and operated by the Terlato family for four generations, the Group also includes the family's winery investments and partnerships in some of the world's most esteemed wine regions, including: Napa Valley; Sonoma County; Santa Barbara County; Victoria, Australia; the Rhone Valley in France; and Montalcino, Italy.

The Terlato Wines International portfolio of brands includes: Napa Valley: Brandlin, Chimney Rock, Cuvaison Estate Wines, EPISODE, Galaxy, Jack Nicklaus Wines, Luke Donald Collection, Markham Vineyards, Quickfire, Rutherford Hill, Tangley Oaks, Terlato Family Vineyards; Sonoma County: Alderbrook, Giarrusso, Hanna, Hideaway Creek, Rochioli, The Federalist and Terlato Family Vineyards; Santa Barbara County: Sanford and Tangley Oaks; California Appellation: Glass Mountain, Greystone Cellars and Seven Daughters; Oregon: Sokol Blosser; Italy: Berlucchi, Ca' Marcanda (Gaja Toscana), Fizz 56, Gaja, Il Poggione, Kettmeir, MAZZONI (Toscana), Santa Margherita, Tiramisu, Torresella and Distillatori Nonino (Grappa); France: Champagne Bollinger, Chateau-Timberlay, M. Chapoutier, Domaine Chanson, Josmeyer, Langlois-Chateau, Marius and Mischief and Mayhem; Australia: Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, The Lucky Country and Two Hands; Argentina: Cuarto Domino, Tamari; Canada: Peller Estates Icewine; Greece: Boutari; Mediterranean: Elios;  New Zealand: Wairau River; South Africa: Anthonij Rupert, Ernie Els Wines, Guardian Peak and Rust En Vrede; Japan: Shimizu-no-mai Sake.

SOURCE Terlato Wines International