Daily Archives: February 4, 2014

Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel – Finished

Sneak peak on a special order – Part 5

As you may recall, the product that we started with was almost unrepairable.  One end of the old wine barrel had been sitting in dirt for a time and that included mud at some junctures, which in-turn started rotting the wood on the end of the staves.  The owner was willing to go along with whatever was needed so we went to work.

We decided early on that the one bad head or cap would have to be the bottom of the barrel and we would add an extra layer of wood to beef up the barrel.  We struggled a bit getting the old stain off because it’s a bit sticky and gooey when being sanded.  Another issue with the sanding was the uneven surface caused in part by the staves being rotten, which didn’t allow each stave to have equal strength or hold together very well.

By the way, when we say ‘we’ we’re mostly talking about Ron who did a vast majority of the work on this project barrel.

We overcame the extra work and now the staining and sealing we’re next.  Of course prepping is in order first and as we stated, one of the more tedious jobs to do.  The owner of the barrel asked for a darker look which we’ve done before and call leather.  Then it was onto the hoops, which would be painted burgundy.  Everything went well until we decided there was too much pitting and redid one band.

That led us to now, where we cleaned up the barrel by giving the bands a quick buffing.  We looked over the barrel and touched up anything we thought wasn’t right but the owner thought it looked great so we were done.  We should add, the weather was cold and wet at the end of this project making conditions, well, let’s just say a bit of a pain.

Two barrels

BLOG STORY SPECIAL – Ask for these two barrels and receive $100 off the sale. (see below for more info)

Although this was someone else’s cask that we worked on along with being a barrel we wouldn’t normally recraft – hopefully this little five part story offers some insight into what we do to each product we work on and the lengths we will go to make it right.

In the future, Paso Wine Barrels will offer other stories of our work and business as we move along.  If you ever have any questions about wine barrels whether they’re ours or not, ask us and we will try to tender an answer.

As they say in wine country, ‘Saluti’ – or as we say Salootie Patootie!

Ron and Daryle Hier

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BLOG STORY SPECIAL – Ask for the two barrels shown in the story above and receive $100 off the sale.  Click here to email for details.

CHECK OUT OUR USED BARRELS AS WELL

Water Versus Food?

The state of California is in a severe drought and though we just had a drenching rain on Super Bowl Sunday, the fact is one storm does not end what still is the driest year on record.  Governor Jerry Brown declared a state-of-emergency and then to exacerbate the situation and make matters worse for farmers, specifically in the San Joaquin Valley, the state has cut off all water from the State Water Project.

Essentially, the Governor and state of California are saying ‘you’re on your own’.  And yet this serious situation doesn’t appear to be making the major headlines with the media who seemed more concerned with toilet fishing in the Olympics than a major food source being driven to the brink.

Farmers still taking the brunt

Delta smelt

Farmers helped build canals for their farms that eventually the endangered delta smelt now inhabits.

Many cities across the Golden State will be hamstrung for water, but those feeling the pinch the most will be farmers.  The region had been already hit hard when water restrictions were imposed to purportedly save the delta smelt that had worked its way into farmer’s canals.  That created unemployment figures that in some areas were 50% and produced losses in the billions of dollars for the state.

The San Joaquin Valley is or at least was considered one of the most productive food regions in the United States if not the world.  However, the valley has been devastated economically by the supposed dangers to the smelt.  Now, with the state denying farms any water at all, the likely destruction of farmland could be catastrophic.  It should be noted that even with the cuts, Fresno County still leads the nation in farming.

The San Joaquin Valley is a large representation of what is going on all over California.  With only urban cities receiving limited deliveries of water, farming communities as well as small towns could be left without.  The state is leaving waters in reservoirs for fish to survive but not farmers.  As was mentioned in our story last week, cities all over the state our nervously looking for water such as what sits underneath the Paso Robles ground water basin.

Pulling out

Ironic sign for farmers

Ironic sign for farmers

Nut farms which use more water than say vegetable crops will see owners prone to pull the trees for crops that don’t require as much water.  Such may be the case with grapes as well.  Vineyards are more efficient than nut trees but vintners are getting anxious and in some small instances, vines are being pulled.

Concerns of Californians are all about the lack of water.  The question though has to be asked as to whether some fish and urban populations should take more of the brunt of this problem or are we going to risk farms and food instead.

Although there are questions about just how much more storms are is in store for the state, even if the rest of winter was steady with rain, major issues will continue, as sides are being taken between water and food … and farmers.

Mahalo,

Daryle Hier

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