The annual Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner was held at NRG Center, Sunday, Feb. 28. Nearly 800 prospective buyers generously bid on 57 live auction and 76 silent auction lots, featuring award-winning wines from the 2016 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition held Nov. 14 – 16, 2015.
The Grand Champion Best of Show Orin Swift Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Mercury Head, Napa Valley, 2013, sold for a price of $125,000, to Dinell and Jay Chapman; J. Alan and Julie Kent; Vanessa and Chad Stroberg; and Dr. Jennifer and Todd Youngblood.
A supporter of the Show for 40 years, Kent said he supports the auctions because, “It’s [the Show] the best charity there is — all about giving back to the kids.”
The Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show B.R. Cohn Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Olive Hill Estate, Sonoma Valley, 2013 sold to buyers Curtis Clerkley and Leah Stasney; Victoria and Parker Johnson; Becky and Kelly Joy; and Lisa and Tom Laird for $125,000.
Clerkley, a current Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Vice President and officer in charge of the wine committees, served as a 12-year volunteer and past chairman of the Wine Garden Committee. He said his favorite part about the wine auction is seeing everyone smile and come together to raise money for Texas youth.
“Every opportunity for us is a success for someone else,” said Clerkley, in regards to the donors and volunteers supporting the Show’s mission to further education in Texas.
These champion wines were selected from the 2016 International Wine Competition’s nearly 2,500 entries. Wineries from 20 different countries participated in the competition. Also, the contest’s featured region, the Pacific Northwest, submitted 181 entries and Texas wineries were represented by 267 entries.