Buyers gathered for the annual Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction & Dinner at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 1. Winning wines from the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, held Nov. 16-17, 2019, were auctioned.

The Grand Champion Best of Show, France’s Piper-Heidsieck Brut, Champagne, NV sold for $220,000 to buyers Katherine Cornell and Tom Pirtle, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Jennifer and Joe Van Matre, and Sheridan and John Eddie Williams.

The Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show, Italy’s Cavaliere d’Oro Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Seleizione DOCG, 2015, sold for a record $215,000 to buyers Lisa Blackwood, Abbot Downing, Randa and Ray Gilliam, and The Murski Family Foundation.

The Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition included 3,528 entries from 19 countries, including France, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Israel, Argentina and South Africa. Texas wineries represented 480 entries, and 380 entries came from this year’s featured region, Mendoza, Argentina.

A selection of the champion wines from the International Wine Competition will be available for tasting, by the glass and bottle, throughout the run of the Rodeo, March 3 – 22, in the Champion Wine Garden, presented by Frost Bank. Daily hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m.; Fridays, 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Enjoy live music daily beginning at 4 p.m. on weekdays, 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays. Wine education seminars are hosted in the Champion Wine Garden, ranging from $55 to $95 per person. To learn more, visit

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $500 million to the youth of Texas. For more information, visit and connect with RODEOHOUSTON online via FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube for all the latest news. The 2020 Rodeo is scheduled for March 3 – 22.