Brenham, a little Texas town that is most notably the home of Blue Bell ice cream. But just a few minutes out of town there was a unique festival. Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery worked together to put on the 14th Annual Lavender and Wine Festival. This one is unique because it was more of a lavender festival that highly promoted the winery but there was no wine at the lavender farm.
If you enjoy festivals remember this one thing: get there early. We arrived about 9:45 in the morning and the parking was already nearly full. When we left a couple hours later there was a long line of cars waiting to get it.
This festival was super cute even though it was small. There were the normal vendors: artisan cooking oils and vinegars, honey, home grown and pickled vegetables. My sister and my boyfriend both love pickles and bought some that the flavor was named ‘Swamp.’ Nice and spicy, just the way they like them. I on the other had was more interested in the lavender products.
Soaps and sprays, tea blends and culinary lavender, all smelling wonderful light and earthy. What I bought though was two lavender plants, a sweet lavender and a lavender provence. My plants are small now and I want them to get a bit larger before putting them in the ground.
This lavender farm doesn’t have large fields, but you can still go cut flowers. For the festival you could only cut flowers if you were participating in the weaving. We still walked in the fields though and you didn’t have to get to close to the plants before the scent of them was all around you, permeating the air and held close by the humidity.
One of the other neat things about the festival was all the animals. A retired couple brought out their miniature horses. Cinnamon (13) and Lucy (4) are therapy horses that are taken to nursing homes. Lucy is Cinnamon’s foal. There was a woman who brought out here therapy dogs. These dogs were Irish Wolfhounds, gentle giants but it is still different to meet a dog whose back is at your waste. Brooke and I loved all the animals, but the miniature fainting goats were probably my favorite. No, we didn’t see them faint, but we did learn a bit about them. These had long hair, that was quite soft, and the fainting happens when they get excited. Their owner said that she has one little goat that is so excited to go to the pasture in the morning that she faints at least once on the way.
From the lavender farm we made our way over to Windy Winery. It is a good thing that the event was in two places because they were both packed. It started raining a few minutes after we got to the winery and rained on and off the whole time we were there. It made for a relaxing day though and kept the temperature down as well the crowds.
My sister and I tried six different wines as part of the wine tasting and we did our best to try the ones that were made from the grapes grown there. They grow quite a variety.
Independence – A dry red wine made from Lenoir Grapes. A deep red wine with a jam like aroma of elderberries with a spicy finish. One of my favorite wines.
Lady Lavender – A semi sweet white wine. A pale wine made from blanc du bois grapes before being infused with culinary lavender. An earthy wine with the bright aroma of lavender with the herbed taste. I enjoyed it but wouldn’t want more than one glass.
Cool Breeze – Dry white wine made from blanc du bois grapes. This is a delicate wine, one that I would pair with a seafood dish. I enjoyed this wine but it was not my favorite but that could be because I prefer red.
Texas Rose – A dry red wine. This wine was darker than the typical rose but the flavor was great. Definitely one that I could enjoy a couple glasses of.
Saucy Red – A Semi sweet red wine, made with Lenoir Grapes. This wine was definitely in my top three. There was just a hint of sweet, nothing overpowering. Saucy Red would pair well with a spicy dish.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Dry red wine, not grown with grapes from the winery but a good wine with hints of vanilla and black cherry. Not my favorite cab but still flavorful.
Syrah – Dry red wine, not grown with grapes from the winery. A nice dark, spicy wine with hints of plum.
Windy Winery has a larger selection of wines than these, but we didn’t try all of them. On the last of our tasting we couldn’t decide which to try together so she tasted the Cab and I went with the Syrah. A fun little winery hidden in the country with a beautiful view of the lush countryside. They do have winery tours, but we didn’t do one on account of the rain. They also have events like grape stomps. If you are ever near Brenham on the weekend check them both out.
Wine flavors based off winery provided information and personal tasting. Photos by Keltin Wiens