Monthly Archives: July 2014


Because of the massive and ongoing drone of news regarding drought, vineyards have been front and center when it comes to what is happening in the wine business. The latest concern is that veraison is occurring earlier than normal in 2014. Yeah, what the heck is veraison?

There’s some real purple grapes appearing through the canopy – Veraison has definitely occurred with these Zin grapes.

Veraison is a term that most would or will never need to know, yet is a critical stage during the ripening process for grapes in which they turn color. People in the wine industry know all about the term.  What it means is that usually the grape turns from green to red and finally purple, while also becoming softer. In other words, the berries stop growing and start ripening – and the process doesn’t take very long. And now you know an important term in the wine business. By the way, it’s pronounced ver-ray-shon.

After typical growing season in spring and relatively quiet first part of summer, when veraison happens, vineyards start getting busy. Vintners and staff prepare for and bottle usually two years ago’s vintage and then ready for harvest when it hits in earnest.


Here in Paso Robles, an early harvest is beginning to become a reality as some picking has already occurred. And in this particular instance, a much earlier than normal harvest might not be such a bad thing what with the likelihood of an El Nino heading our way. Rain can cause problems with grapes so although the veraison means moving up workloads that may not have been prepared for, dodging moisture which can cause mildew is much worse than a little inconvenience.

So veraison is definitely underway and here’s an instance that might show how early the change is this year. A small local multiple gold-winning vineyard here in Paso usually sees veraison of their Zinfandel in mid-August – or even a bit later – but last year saw ripening happen near the beginning of August. This year veraison has already started with a week of July still to go.


Of course with an early veraison, means the sweeter grape are here sooner, which brings in pest like birds. That in-turn means the netting needs to go on. Also, with veraison happening earlier, the grapes are exposed to more heat while ripening.

Pinot Noir is usually the first grape to go through veraison and Cabernet Sauvignon the last. This critical period when grapes lose their acidity and gain sugar – the beginning of wine development – is an exciting time in wine country and means harvest isn’t far behind. And note that this wasn’t a big surprise considering the early bloom that most received this year due in part to the drought. However, things could have been much worse if it wasn’t for some needed rain in March.

This matters to us because we’re sort of tied at the hip with the wine industry. With bottling happening a little sooner, it’s time us barrel folks start gobbling up the used barrels.


Daryle W. Hier



Rain Bearrel

Yes, I do know how to spell. Bear with me – pun fun intended.

You purchase a half barrel and maybe place a liner inside to catch rain water. That’s one way to do it although anytime you leave an open container out, especially as big as a half barrel, varmints like mosquitoes tend to breed. Then there are bigger intruders – like bears.



Maybe you saw this story a few years back when it came out in Colorado. The homeowner had half barrels with liners to fetch rain water for his garden. Problem was something was emptying his barrels. That something was a bear – maybe a black bear … and it was caught on camera.

The owner was mystified and set up cameras to catch the perpetrator, which happened to be the aforementioned bear, who would cool its tush off by sitting in the barrel … a bear in a barrel, so-to-speak.

We’ve talked about rain barrels in the past and you can go here for some valuable information but this story brings up the issues of pest. Whenever dealing with something outside and exposed to the elements, some care and caution should be taken.


Mosquitoes are a real problem with water and if you don’t have an enclosed system, you might have to add a horticultural spray oil as one idea. Also, kerosene or mineral oil can work as well. Chlorine does a good job as well but then again, you have to be careful since you’re going to use this same water for your garden.

For bears, there’s really no deterrent for a huge animal like a bear except to have a full barrel and preferably an enclosed system – simple as that.


The bear from these pics was likely trying to cool down. Unless water is scarce or it’s summer, bears won’t be this bold. However, it makes for some great fun. The one shot (at right) with the bear sitting there with its feet up is cool. I mean really, you expect them to bear the heat? 😉


Daryle W. Hier


Cordless Screwdriver With Corkscrew

“I have a thing for tools.” – Tim Allen


This would have made it on the ’90s TV hit comedy Home Improvement. Except Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor (played by Tim Allen) would have tried to up the power and speed of his Binford 5000.

I saw this item last Christmas but had lost track of and forgot all about this trick tool. I realize not everyone is into gadgetry and certainly there are those in the wine culture who turn their collective noses up at such silliness. Regardless of what one might think of this contrivance, one of the king’s of tool making – Skil – offers up the Compact 4-Volt Max Cordless Lithium-Ion Driver Combo Kit with Wine Opener. Grunt, grunt, grunt.

Actually, there’s little grunting involved with this neat and cool device. The screwdriver is small and lightweight tool with a corkscrew attachment that’s slick and seemingly effective. It comes with a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery and is a perfect addition to any respectable tool person’s equipment crib – as long as they have a hunkering for wine. The low speed, high torque ability offers you control over the corkscrew with ease. It has an LED light so you can drink in the dark without a problem – very important. Any way you look at it, at the very least, you have a high quality cordless screwdriver.

Fun & inexpensive

Will combining power tools with wine drinking work? Your imagination can take you to a very fun and interesting situation should the libations be flowing a little more than normal with the mix of a power tool, could, well, yes, let’s just say interesting is one way of putting it.

In any case, this combination is available at Amazon for under $50 out the door and except for the occasional lawsuit or two that might come from combining drinking and machinery, this is a fun and handy tool to impress your friends and family – at least those who have a tool-centric mind … or a sense of humor.

May I open that bottle of wine for you madam? Grunt, grunt, grunt.

Salootie Patootie,

Daryle W. Hier



Wine Barrel Weddings

A few followers and friends have contacted me in the past, asking about wine barrels for weddings. Consequently I thought I’d show some pictures, so folks can get an idea of just what a wine barrel wedding would look like.

Wine barrels as outdoor barn wedding decor

I’m not a wedding expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I did play one on television – okay, that was a joke. However, I have collected many pictures over the last few years for wine barrel ideas and these images represent the best that I could find regarding weddings.

Idyllic setting

Getting married in a winery isn’t new but it is a growing phenomenon with settings and surroundings that are hard to beat. I mean really, when doesn’t scenery with rolling hills of vineyards not conjure up a greater illustration of the wedding spectacle. What better way to set off that idyllic look than wine barrels.

Rustic drink station, perfect for a country wedding.

If they are Decorative or the more eclectic rustic used barrels, the appearance of wine barrels adds a stunning charm, character and well, they’re just plain cool to view. Whether at or in a vineyard, wine barrel weddings have a certain flair and maybe even add some elegance to the celebration.

Bring vineyard to you

And don’t let the idea of not being at a winery slow you down. Even if you’re not using a winery and it’s vineyard for the wedding, you can bring the vineyard to you, so-to-speak. You can order used barrels to have on the special day or if the investment is a bit too high and you’re so lucky as to be within a couple hours of Paso Robles, you can rent the barrels. Most local wedding rental companies should have wine barrels available.

Louisville Wedding Blog - The Local Louisville KY wedding resource: Rustic Wedding Props, Rentals and Decor

Regardless, having wine barrels as decor in your wedding ceremony is a unique rustic yet exceptional way to enjoy the special day.

Additional sources: Pinterest


Daryle W. Hier


Glasstop Barrel Table

The Biggest Little Fair

The cows are coming home?

Cows coming home - Paso Robles

One of the more unique fairs starts this time of year in what is currently called the number one wine region in the world: Paso Robles. The California Mid State Fair is a 12 day annual affair every summer and is known as the ‘The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere!’

The plucky little celebration of fun is held at the Paso Robles Event Center, which is used year-round for all kinds of shows, concerts, business events and many other gatherings. However, the Mid State Fair is by far the largest gathering the Event Center will entertain. Not exactly the largest fair size-wise, this extravaganza in Paso Robles packs quite a wallop and is probably pound-for-pound the best festival you will ever enjoy. In fact, attendance at this fair ranks it in the Top 50 for North America.

The fair starts on a Wednesday with the morning Cattle Drive (when not mysteriously cancelled) where several dozen heads of cattle are taken down Union and 13th to Riverside and then inside the fairgrounds. That’s when this small but smoking hot fair gets going.

Heats up


There’s the typical carnival rides and animal exhibits including equestrian shows, but the biggest deal this event has is entertainment. Huge marques and performances happen all over the fair during the 12 days including the largest names that the entertainment world can muster performing at the Chumash Arena each evening.

There’s also every type of food imaginable and along with talent shows, the place is buzzing with action. Of course, there’s wine tasting and wine contests plus enough drink concessions to wet anyone’s particular whistle.

Parking is somewhat at a premium unless you come early but the city has a free shuttle service available during the fair. Click here for more.


If you haven’t ever seen mutton-busting, you have to check it out. Nothing like seeing a small child terrified as they hold on for dear life on top of a romping sheep. It goes on all afternoon each day as parent after parent signs their child’s life away to entertain the folks. My nephew did it a few years ago and although he didn’t win, it was hilarious to watch.

The town of Paso Robles is about 30,000 but balloons to more than twice that every summer as they entertain people from all over the world. The otherwise quaint city sits roughly halfway between Greater L.A. and the Bay Area, just 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Carnival rides - Mid State Fair

Be prepared for delays in traffic and also the blazing heat that can rise over 100 degrees – though usually the mornings and evenings are much cooler.

With all kinds of displays, exhibits, entertainment and rides, there’s something for everyone. The fair opens at 9:00 am and closes at Midnight all 12 days.

Now, when are those darn cows coming home …

Additional source: California Mid State Fair


Daryle W. Hier




Everchanging And Portable Flowering Wine Barrel

If you’ve considered a half wine barrel as a planter for flowers, you may be concerned with the weight and therefore difficulty of moving you’re oak planter. Let go of your concerns because we have an almost magical half barrel idea for you.

Take note that using this idea will likely make your planter last forever given certain care is taken or you use a Decorative Planter Barrel.

Portable potted planter

Inside magic

This is simple but a great idea nonetheless. First, you need a genuine oak wine planter barrel, either new or used. Next, purchase wood chips to fill about half the barrel. Acquire multiple flowers at your nursery or garden center and you can either place the flowers in another planter or leave them in their original existing plastic containers.

You can use the chips or add more to fill around the potted flower containers so as to keep them secure. Water them as you would normally. That’s it. Now, you have a barrel that you can move around and add, subtract or change flowers without having to dig them out. It’s almost magical when you’re able to make changes and nobody knows how easy it was for you.


It should be also noted that since you won’t be watering this barrel’s soil, the construction of a used barrel will dry up and become somewhat wobbly as the staves condense and pull apart. There’a an answer to that though with – as we mentioned above – the Paso Wine Barrels Decorative Half Planter Barrel. Because it has tightened bands, stain, sealer and varnish, they don’t tend to dry out as quickly as standard used barrels do. Also, they are reinforced with an interior band allowing them to sustain many years not being moist.

If you decide on the used barrel, you might want to spray it with a garden hose occasionally or each time you water – keeping the wood from drying out will allow the barrel to stay tighter.

Now it’s time to have what your friends, neighbors or cohorts didn’t figure out – an almost magical everchanging and portable flowering wine barrel.


Daryle W. Hier




Fresh Lettuce Right Outside Your Door

In a garden, what a garden
Only happy faces bloom there
And there’s never any room there
For a worry or a gloom there

Lettuce in a barrel

Believe it or not, this oh so positive refrain comes from the ‘Beer Barrel Polka’ (Roll out the barrel) and I couldn’t agree more.

What’s more positive and fun than a garden at your footstep. Lettuce is one of the fastest growing plants in a garden. In fact, their cousin the spinach, grows a bit faster. Here’s what you do to have pest free lettuce and spinach in three to seven weeks. Why the wide spread? Read on.

Start with a quality barrel

First, purchase a wine oak half barrel from a reputable source – like Paso Wine Barrels. I mention reputable, because so many garden centers, especially the notorious big boxes, offer barrels that for one, aren’t wine barrels and sometimes aren’t even oak … plus they want to fall apart.

Not to toot the horn, but places like Paso Wine Barrels offer fresher and usually better looking half barrels along with decorative types that are reinforced and sealed, making them last almost forever. Still, regardless where you purchase the barrel, unless it’s sealed, you might want to go ahead to add a sealer – both inside and out. You don’t have to do this but we recommend it for a longer lasting barrel.

Half barrels

Pssst … I know where you can get authentic genuine quality wine barrels.

Next, drill a half a dozen or so holes in the bottom of the barrel for drainage – this is a must. Find a small hole saw or large drill bit to make the holes. Make sure to place a sheet of weed barrier cover over the bottom of the holes. Place about two to three inches of small rocks on top of the barrier underlayment as this will offer proper drainage. The underlayment will help keep dirt and soil from draining out the bottom of the barrel holes.

Now add a mix of dirt, garden soil and compost if you have it. This gives the necessary nutrients for the garden lettuce and spinach. We use only organic seeds but regardless, purchase seeds from your local nursery or garden center and plant them a couple inches apart. The seeds should be covered in no more than a half an inch of soil.

Voila! Lettuce at your doorstep

Water as recommended but don’t be too concerned with over watering because for starters, you have drainage and two, plants like these need regular watering. Mulch around the plant if needed to keep in the moisture, but check with a local Master Gardener and/or the American Horticultural Society for more information.

In any case, seedlings should sprout within a handful of days and you should have a bunch of little plants within the first couple weeks and about seven weeks later, you will be eating fresh leafy garden salads.

If you want to up the ante so-to-speak, purchase small plants from your local nursery. When you plant them, make sure you compress and compact the soil around the base of each plant. In a few short weeks, salad days are back! As Martha Stewart interminably says: ‘It’s a good thing.’

Set your planter with lettuce and spinach near your back or front door, but make sure it has shade. These leafy vegetables usually don’t do well in sunny hot climes and tend to bolt when extreme heat hits them.

Lettuce in a barrel

Again, please be cautious what kind of barrel you use. I’ve seen some dilapidated barrel at certain garden centers which will remain anonymous that have poor excuses for barrels. They may have an eclectic look but won’t last long and may not even make it home without falling apart.

Okay, it’s time to get out there, have some fun and roll out the barrel with some fresh greens …

Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun
Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run


Daryle W. Hier









Food And Water VS Big Gov


Don’t want to be too technical, so in a nutshell, here is what we have as far as our water problems in California. Government forces including power brokers in politics as well as food and water consortiums have combined to wrest Californians of their ability to eat and drink, using heavy regulations and making life more expensive.California Water

This is a personal conclusion and essentially an opinion – so take it as you will. However, I’ve been following the socalled ‘water crisis’ in California for some time and you’ve probably noticed (see at bottom), I’ve blogged about the situation and other ancillary issues related to water, drought, vineyards, conserving rainwater, etc.

To again, keep this brief, here’s what I’ve concluded. And note, my opinions may change as more information comes out, but here’s how I see the water farming problem in California.

It’s man-made

I’ve touched on this before but as I’ve read more and more, it has become obvious that the powers-that-be, have no intention on making life better for farmers or Californians as a whole. Politics has a place in this, but since I am independent from the major parties, I feel at least partially unbiased on how I position my thought process.

One big reason I don’t believe anyone in government has the folks best interest at heart is the fact that we could simply build more reservoirs and desalination plants. We could have more water than we would ever need … but what good does that do politicians and power brokers? It doesn’t.

Simple fix

So there’s fear-mongering in boatloads and the current drought is an excellent and ideal circumstance to proliferate fear in the public. If they came out and said, we have the Pacific Ocean and it makes no sense not using that everlasting supply of water with desalination plants all up and down the coast, that would not help with power and control – which is what they get with more regulation and higher food and water costs.

Sure there’s costs in implementing such large tasks like desalination and reservoir projects, but the situation is costing us anyway. If the new plants were built, it would reduce the cost of water while cutting back on our need for importing food – which is what the giant agriculture companies are doing.

The San Joaquin Valley by itself could feed the country if it was allowed. The Imperial and Salinas Valley‘s along with the Sacramento area also can produce vast amounts of foods if we had enough water to properly farm them. But this doesn’t help the power brokers.

Fish over man

Delta Smelt

Helping the Delta Smelt – a bait fish that found its way into the canal system – has done irreparable harm to Californians.

There are more sinister plots in place but you should research this subject to come to your own conclusions. I’ve done that, and while this upsets the heck out of me and those around me who have learned these devious intentions as well, I feel people need to work on finding out more about why politicians are creating this man-made crisis.

By restricting water to farms with over-regulation creates a huge crisis out of the drought situation … plain and simple. Saying the needs of fish (i.e. the Delta Smelt) override the needs of people is something that should scare everyone. I understand about the place we humans have in making sure we are the caretakers of this planet and all that’s on it. But at the cost of man?

Paid water sent to the ocean

However, when no politician comes up with an idea to increase supply, but instead only wants to decrease use of land for food, makes me think twice about those in charge and there objective. And here’s a kicker: farmers paid for water, they never received. It’s like paying your water bill in advance and when you were ready to cook a meal and needed to turn the faucet on, there wasn’t anything there. Would you be happy?Valley_Farms_Paid-for_water

Ask yourself, why do we divert water out to the ocean rather than use it? The loss of tens of thousands of jobs by making sure the delta smelt has a certain amount of water is absurd. The canals the smelt swims in now, were built by and for the farmers who in-turn can’t use that water anymore. Does any of that make sense? To make the matter worse, the state is trucking in salmon to stock rivers. I’m sure that will turn out okay for all concerned. Yeah, right.

California naturally is a rather dry state and relies heavily on the Sierra Nevada Mountains for most of its water. A system was put in place including the California Aqueduct to make sure that even in drought, we would have the necessary water to make it through. With over-regulations, that state system has been broken by politicians and their cronies with Californians suffering the consequences. Some might call this an oligarch, but regardless, politics are at the bottom of this.

The California AqueductThe tragedy of all this is we didn’t and don’t need to diminish our crops. This man-made crisis can be fixed by doing what a drought-type climate should always do, conserve water when it rains and otherwise take sea water and make drinking water out of it. The long-term advantage of this would save any smelt while also relieving those of us who live in the Golden State of water restriction concerns.

Again, this is my opinion and you should go out and find what actually is going on … just like I did.

Now, on a more pleasant thought … think purple.

Related articles:

Should California expand reservoir capacity by removing sediment?

Is Water Conservation Good?

Water Versus Food?

Is There A Water Shortage In Paso Robles?

Paso Robles Water Problem … continued

Paso Robles Water Problem


Daryle W. Hier




What To Do With Half Wine Barrels

“I give you one health in the juice of the vine, The blood of the vineyard shall mingle with mine; Thus let us drain the last few drops of gold, And empty our hearts of the blessings they hold.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

Used Half Wine Barrel

And what a wine barrel holds is up to your imagination.

The popularity of Paso Robles, which is now known as the number one wine region in world, has brought about empty wine barrels that need repurposed. Obviously, with a lot of barrels including half barrels rolling out of Paso Wine Barrels, there are folks who know what they want. However, for those that may need an idea or bit of information on how to use the half barrels, here’s a few thoughts on what you can do with a half barrel. Okay, maybe more than a few thoughts.

Sometimes known as a planter barrel, actually half barrels are occasionally used as tables or table ends. Whether you have a Decorative-type planter barrel or a more eclectic old used half barrel, that have a more rugged yet whimsical appearance, these half barrels have found their way into homes, offices, warehouses, commercial and industrial buildings as well as yards, atriums, courtyards, entry ways or any of assorted locations.

Half barrel - outside table

By the way, it’s not uncommon to use plastic or composite style barrels instead of the more authentic looking wine barrel – and we understand if you’re trying to save a little money. However, we’re talking about original former wine barrels that have produced some of the greatest wines in the world right here on the California Central Coast.

The more common use of a half barrel, regardless of its conditions, is as a planter.


Whether you’re a wine lover or not, wine barrels offer the big advantage over planting in mother Earth, with the adaptability of moving them; bringing them above ground and to the fore; and, maybe the biggest advantage, keeping your flowers, plants, herbs, vegetables or fruits away from pest.

Maybe the easiest things to grow and promote a plant above ground in a used half barrel is shrubs. Still, regardless of what you plant, these steps can apply.

Please note, as with anything you plant in a barrel, unless it will be indoors, we suggest the barrel have a handful of small holes drilled in the bottom of a half barrel. Also, you need to place a layer of ground cover fabric at the bottom of the barrel to prevent pests and weeds working their way up from below, plus it will keep roots from growing through the holes. You can also add a short layer of small rocks or pebbles on top of the fabric – figure one to two inches deep.

Place the barrel where you want and fill it about half full of soil (a mix of compost, potting soil, dirt). Move some of your soil to the sides and put your shrub in the middle, using the soil pushed aside to fill in around the shrub or plant. The barrel should have at least four inches of space between the soil and the top of the half barrel. Be aware that you can add more plants and more soil but being able to move the barrel in the future becomes harder to handle.

Barrel with rocks

With your soil mix, never go higher than about one inch from the top of the barrel. Be sure to water right after planting, ensuring the ground settles properly in the barrel. Be sure to tamp down the loose dirt. A good gauge of how much water to use is watch when moisture comes out around the bottom of the planter barrel.

Flowers can be done the same way and again, you can add more than one but remember to leave plenty of space between the plants so they have room to grow. Herbs are the same way and depending on what kind of herb, some can really become large plants, although because the barrel places restrictions on growth, they won’t tend to grow quite as large as normal.

Be careful

A tale of caution. Some of the barrels being sold at the big box stores are more worn and less likely to last very long. If you can, you should sand them down and maybe put sealer on so that they will last a bit longer. Again, some stores have whiskey barrels which have been used so much that they come apart very easily. Regardless, sealer is a handy addition especially when it comes to keeping away mildew. A customer who is a master gardener, told me if you don’t want to use a sealer, spray the wood with cider vinegar. It will kill any fungus that may be left over from residue wine.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of sealing your barrel, Paso Wine Barrels has completely prepared Decorative-style barrels – both half and full that are sanded, stained, sealed and then varnish to give a more finished look. That will allow the barrel to last as long as needed while still offering an quirky and capricious appearance.

Half planter barrel - Marilyn Monroe Rose

Another insiders note for those you don’t have proper equipment and tools – hardware stores often have a rental fee system, so you can work your barrel anyway you want including drilling holes, without ever having to purchase tools and accessories.

Some time in the fall, when most plants stop growing or die – unless you live in climes that aren’t severe – you can take your old plants out and replant with fall flowers and herbs. Also you can plant a small Christmas tree – that’s something I’ve done in the past.

Trees can be fun

Which leads me to trees. You have to somewhat careful what kind of tree you want, because the half barrel planter will restrict growth to any tree. Smaller trees or dwarf trees are more ideal but again, because the development of the trees roots will be bound up, a lot of trees you plant will in affect be smaller than normal as a dwarf tree is.

I have a grapefruit tree that is in its sixth year and it can produce a couple dozen fruit. Here’s another insight that may help you. I didn’t want to over water the grapefruit because of the condensed area, but a couple of years weren’t very prosperous because the fruit would fall off before it could develop. I watered much more and the tree flourished. The point of the story is, because the bottom has drainage, you really don’t have to worry about over watering.

If you want to bring the soil up near the top, then use some mulch, so the top of the soil doesn’t dry up. Check with garden clubs or find a nearby master gardener for more information regarding care and what plants work best locally.

Another idea is you can purchase a used full wine barrel and cut a hole in the top and place a tree in it. Unless you want to move it with forklift, don’t fill it more than halfway with soil. Even then, you will need a handcart to move the barrel and tree. Some folks like to shift around trees in their yards and this is a great way to do it. It also looks cool when you change up your yards look.

Full Barrel with black hoop bands

Notice the logs underneath the barrel. Keeping the barrels off the ground can add extra years of service.

Regardless if it’s a full or half barrel, you might find placing logs, bricks or another hard surface underneath, could prolong the barrels for many years.

Note: I’m not a master gardener – although my uncle was – just someone who has been involved with gardening for quite awhile. If you want more precise information regarding tips on what you need to know about gardening, there are books galore and of course, as I suggested earlier, contact your local garden club.

Let this whole barrel thing be fun

Whether you want the grace and elegance of a decorative planter barrel or the obtruse but unique and eclectic old used containers, all styles of oak barrels will offer beauty that can only be had by the pureness of a oak barrel that used to produce great wines.

Less expensive than terra cotta planters, wine barrels in half or full form, are a great way to set off your yard, home, business or any place for that matter. For visual ideas on what you can do with a used wine barrel, Pinterest has dozen and dozens of pictures > go here.

Enough information, now it’s time to go out there and take advantage of the unique and distinctive look of a wine barrel. However, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me here on the blog, email or the several dozen other electronic ways to get a hold of me.

Thank God there is still something simple and solid, yet pure and real like a wine barrel.


Daryle W. Hier




Lavender Festival


Paso Robles has been and/or is known for many things, not the least of which is wine, olives, cattle, hot springs or a host of other draws that make this part of the California Central Coast a great place to visit … and live. However, one of the lesser known but burgeoning phenomenons on the Central Coast is the popularity of lavender. And one of the fastest-growing events in Paso Robles is the Lavender Festival.

This annual celebration of the multidimensional purple flower is put on by the Central Coast Lavender Growers Association and the Paso Robles Main Street Association. The festival runs on the second Saturday of every July from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm at the Downtown City Park. The event is free to the public.

lavender_festival-tableJust about every imaginable item that has a lavender influence – and we’ve talked about some of them – will be at this summer get-together. Industry experts will be sharing their techniques for making the wonder herb into many different foods, perfumes, drinks, oils and other assorted advantages. There will be seminars and demonstrations throughout the park.

It’s not uncommon to have vendors offering examples of cultivating and drying lavender, allowing folks to experience a huge collection of opportunities and benefits that should educate, captivate and inspire the growth of this amazing essential oil herb.

Parking is free throughout the downtown area and as with any Central Coast celebratory event, there will be music, food, arts and crafts from the area including such things as yard sale type vendors, along with wine barrels and more. And don’t forget there are wine tasting rooms all over the downtown area.

Lavender at sunset

We’ll be looking forward to seeing you there. You can catch us at the Park on the corner of Spring and 12th Streets. Come by and say hi – we’ll have some specials that you can’t pass up.



Daryle W. Hier


EO stave with bottles closeup