On November 13, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced the champions from the Rodeo Uncorked!® International Wine Competition, held this past weekend at Reliant Center. Now in its 12th year, the competition is one of the highlights of the livestock show and rodeo.
The judging involved lots of wine: 2,505 entries representing 16 different countries. There were wines from 40 Texas wineries as well -- a strong showing for the Lone Star State. The 758 different wineries that entered were asked to pay a $50 entry fee to help fund the event.
Of the more than 2,500 entries, 2,212 wines were awarded medals by 20 panels of judges. However, only 11 wines were honored as champions.
The 2014 champion wines will be sold by the glass and bottle at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Garden throughout the festivities and will be auctioned off at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Last year the grand champion best of show wine, a 2008 Alexander Valley Vineyards CYRUS, set a show record by selling for $215,000.
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Here are this year's winners:
- Grand Champion Best of Show - Marchesi Antinori Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri DOC Superiore, 2009
- Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show - Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Estate Bottled Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2010
- Top Texas Wine - Bending Branch Winery Estate Tannat, Texas Hill Country, 2011
- Top Country Wine (Chile) - La Playa Vineyards Axel Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, 2011
- Top All-Around Winery - Michael David Winery
- Top Wine Company - Trinchero Family Estates
- Top Sparkling Wine - Sophora Sparkling Rosé, New Zealand, NV
- Top White Wine - Sheldrake Point Riesling, Finger Lakes, 2011
- Top Red Wine - Fess Parker Winery The Big Easy, Santa Barbara County, California, 2011
- Top Sweet Wine - Sheldrake Point Riesling Ice Wine, Finger Lakes, 2010
- Top Value Wine - Vigilance Red Blend "Cimarron," Red Hills, Lake County, California, 2011
The champs won't receive their awards until the rodeo kicks off with the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition on Sunday, February 23, 2014. They'll be presented with belt buckles, chaps and saddles in recognition of their wins. Restaurants and caterers will also be awarded prizes at the event, based on votes from attendees. The food awards will be announced later on that evening.