The Crush

Foodies have TOP CHEF, fashionistas have PROJECT RUNWAY, finally wine lovers have a reality TV series they can call their own. THE CRUSH (formerly "The Winemakers") takes twelve people from all walks of life and gives them a chance to make their wildest dreams come true - to create and launch their own wine label nationwide. They will live, eat and breath the business of making and selling wine, but in the end only one will earn the title of "the winemaker." 

Watch Clips

Season One: On Like Donkey Kong

Only four hours into the competition, the competitors are thrown into the middle of "the crush," bringing the grapes from the vineyard into the winery and starting the winemaking process.

Season One: Challenge Elimination

Pairing wine with food is no longer about reds with meat and whites with fish, but there are a few tried and true rules worth remembering.

Season One: The Dreaded Crossfire

Contestants appear before the judges to answer ten questions about wine. And they're not easy. The Crossfire separates the wine lover from the future winemaker. How would you do?


Season One: How Much Do You Really Know?

The remaining contestants' wine knowledge is put to the test in a busy winebar in downtown San Luis Obispo. Soon the wine lover will be separated from the winemaker.

The Judges

Brian von Dedenroth, Host

Brian has appeared nationwide on PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and Oxygen. Brian's TV experience, combined with self-taught cooking, landed him as a semi-finalist from 10,000 applicants for his own cooking show on The Next Food Network Star. 

Mark Oldman, Regular Judge

Mark Oldman is one of the country’s leading wine personalities.  He is the wine expert for Pottery Barn and wine columnist for the Food Network.  His signature style was best summed up by Bon Appètit magazine as “winespeak without the geek."

Leslie Sbrocco, Regular Judge

Leslie Sbrocco was voted one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business, Sbrocco’s engaging personality is her trademark whether appearing on screen or in person. Leslie is host of the PBS/KQED series Check, Please! 

Behind The Scenes

It's a Dirty Job


First day of shooting for season 1 was a 24-hour marathon of challenges for the contestants. An initiation by "fire" into the world of winemaking. 

On Location


On location in San Jose, and Paso Robles, CA. If you miss the production "buss" you're pretty much on your own.

Casting Calls

More than 5,000 people responded to the casting call for season one. More than 600 turned out for live auditions in 7 cities across the country, and through Youtube submissions.