A sign welcoming guests to the Annual Buellton Wine & Chili Festival | Photo: Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro

Families, foodies, and folks in search of locally produced goods gathered at Buellton’s Flying Flags Resort on Avenue of the Flags on Sunday, March 19. Beer, whiskey, and wine enthusiasts met up to sip, shop, and sample some of the best eats the region has to offer as part of the annual chili cook-off. 

The largest event by this organization to date, the 2023 Buellton Wine & Chili Festival featured local vintners, artisans, food trucks, and live music from The Tex Pistols, Ghost Monster, and DJ F.I.U., which made for a perfect, family-friendly Sunday in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Kids zipped around on bikes while hungry (and thirsty) imbibers strolled and perused the vendors’ wares with their souvenir wine glasses in hand; it was one of those sweet, small-town days on California’s Central Coast — a perfect way to discover or rediscover Buellton. 

Local breweries and wineries, including Anna’s Cider, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Rusack Vineyards, Caella Wines, Camins2Dreams, Buscador Winery, Casa Cassara, Ballast Point, and Ventura Spirits poured their latest releases. Winemaker Jason Mergenov of Rockets Red Wines doled out samples of his latest pét-nat (“pétillant naturel” which roughly translates to “naturally sparkling” in French) and shared, “This was our first time pouring two of our new releases, and receiving positive feedback from the crowd was amazing.”

Beyond food and drink, bespoke skincare products, farm-fresh floral arrangements by Santa Rita Hills Lavender Farm, and sweet treats by Pattibakes kept attendees smiling ear to ear.

Those seeking savory flavor profiles enjoyed chili and salsa samples from more than 30 regional cooks such as AR Catering, Gary Clark, Oak & Smoke BBQ, The Doggy Door, Casa de Comer, Tequila Mexican Restaurant, Figueroa Brewing Co., the Buellton Rotary Club, and many more fabulous professional and hobbyist chefs and cooks.

All in all, it was a great day for connecting with local businesses, seeing familiar faces, and making new friends.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.