Lavender Fields

Lavender by the red rocks in Concho.

CONCHO — Nothing speaks to relaxation and calm quite like lavender and the plants are now in bloom in Concho.

Beginning Thursday, June 17, the 18th annual Lavender Festival at Red Rock Ranch and Farms will take place Thursday through Sunday for two consecutive weekends. It will last through Sunday, June 27.

Basic tickets start at $5 per person, with no reservations required.

Children age three and younger are also free.

Upgraded VIP packages may be purchased for $25 and includes admission for one person along with wine tasting and a 10% discount on wine purchases during the festival.

For those wanting to up their gardener’s game, a lavender growing discussion will be held in the demonstration garden at 9:30 a.m. and again 11:30 a.m. each day of the festival.

Creative and/or adventurous culinary types will want to be sure to attend the cooking with lavender presentation from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily during the festival.

For those looking to start their own lavender garden, plants will be available to purchase and take home.

Cheese plates and meals will be available for purchase as well, along with unique beverages such as fresh-squeezed lavender lemonade and other fruit mixtures made by Black Jack Citrus Infusions.

And don’t forget to stop in and shop the oils, sprays, candles and more in the Lavender Shop.

Farm background

Undeveloped land in northeastern Arizona was purchased with the intention to launch an organic vegetable farm and orchard. However, the lavender plant the owners purchased for landscaping became a pleasantly unexpected boon with both its beauty and value.

The first field of lavender was harvested in 1998 and the farm is now home to 35,000 plants. It was the first commercial lavender farm in Arizona.

In the beginning, dried lavender comprised the product offerings, then the purchase of a distillation system provided the opportunity to produce essential oil for the product line. Early on, a greenhouse was added for commercial lavender production and most recently, the vineyard and tasting room was added in 2015.

Lavender benefits

The website, WebMD states that lavender is an herb which contains an oil that seems to have sedating effects and might relax certain muscles. It also seems to have antibacterial and anti-fungal effects.

“It is now a known fact that lavender grown at higher altitudes actually has beneficial qualities; the ester content of the flower is more intense at higher altitudes and the essential oil more prized,” wrote farm owner Christine Teeple.

The vineyard shares ground with the lavender fields and the high altitude, pristine climate and friendly ecosystem are ideal for growing both grapes and lavender.

A bit about the wine

Arizona’s highest elevation vineyard, winery and producer at 6,100 feet is located in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona. Red Rock Ranch Vineyards is part of an evolving Arizona wine circle tour that can now include northeastern Arizona.

Vines grown at Red Rock Ranch Vineyards inclue Pinot Noir, Barbara, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Malbec, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Voignier.

Viticulture in Arizona began in the 16th century when missionary Spanish Jesuit priests began to plant grapevines and make wine for use in Christian religious ceremonies.

The tasting room and store will also be open every Saturday during the festival from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

There is sure to be something for everyone at the 2021 Red Rock Farms Lavender Festival.

To get there From Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside take U.S. 60 east for about 10 miles until turning left onto Highway 61 and following it for about 20 miles and then turning left onto AZ-180A.Once on the AZ-180A, turn right onto a two-lane dirt road at milepost 352. Follow it until coming to Red Rock Ranch Road and then turn left until coming to Red Rock Vineyards Road which leads to the parking lot.

From St. Johns: Starting at AZ-61 going towards Concho, turn right onto AZ-180A. Once you are on the AZ-180A, turn right at Mile Marker 352, follow the two lane dirt road, turn right on Red Rock Ranch Road, turn left on Red Rock Lavender Road and drive down to Red Rock Vineyards Road to enter the parking lots located outside the entry gates.

From Snowflake: Starting at Concho Highway going towards Concho, turn Left onto AZ-180A (this road is not marked with the AZ-180A sign but at the end of the Concho Highway it curves left, turn left onto the AZ-180A. Once you are on the AZ-180A, turn right at Mile Marker 352, follow the two lane dirt road, turn right on Red Rock Ranch Road, turn left on Red Rock Lavender Road and drive down to Red Rock Vineyards Road to enter the parking lots located outside the entry gates.

From Holbrook: Take AZ-77 SOUTH/Petrified Forest National Park, turn right onto the US-180 EAST, travel about 35 minutes and when you reach the junction, turn right onto US-180A, travel about 10 minutes, turn left at Mile Marker 352, follow the two lane dirt road, turn right on Red Rock Ranch Road, turn left on Red Rock Lavender Road and drive down to Red Rock Vineyards Road to enter the parking lots located outside the entry gates.

Refer to redrockfarms.com for more festival information or they can also be reached by calling 928-353-8561 or by email at christine@redrocklavender.com.

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