Monthly Archives: August 2014

Alzheimer’s Benefit Street Faire

The simple task of getting up on a Saturday morning and readying yourself to enjoy another California Central Coast summer day and stroll through an art and crafts fair seems trouble-free for most of us. And that’s what some of us will do this Saturday on August 23rd. However, for others, that simple pleasure will be ambiguous and confusing.

Arts & Craft Fair

There are many hideous diseases in the world and saying one is worse than the others is arbitrary at best. With that said, when you are sick with a certain type of ailment, you have the will and mind to figure out how to fight it. That’s not necessarily the case with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

In the simplest context, especially with the late stages of Alzheimer’s your ability to think is essentially gone, as the disease has basically eaten away the brain and made the sufferer incapable of even knowing what’s going on.

Diagnosing dementias are key to knowing how and what to do to make life livable. And everyone should do all they can to find out whether they have any stages of Alzheimer’s. There are treatments and ways to combat the illness although there doesn’t appear to be a cure as yet. Vitamins, supplements, eating a certain way, exercising and keeping your mind alert and working, will all delay or nearly stop this insidious disease. Also, the caregivers along with close family and friends will eventually feel the brunt of this terrible condition.

I’ve been an Advocate for Alzheimer’s for the better part of two decades. I witnessed firsthand the debilitating effects of what dementias can do when my grandparents had differing types of brain diseases. The toll it took on them and the loved ones around them is heartbreaking, yet something folks need to learn about so they can better prepare.

Alzheimer's brain

That’s in part why we at Paso Wine Barrels will be taking part in the First Annual Alzheimer’s Benefit Street Faire. Part of our sales proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, which helps raise money for research at finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Now would be as good a time as any to help a great cause while getting that wine barrel you’ve always wanted. Come on out to Creston Village at 1919 Creston Road in Paso Robles – the event runs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Saturday August 23rd.

Additional sources: Alzheimer’s Association


Daryle W. Hier



Olive Festival

It wasn’t that long ago that a small celebration called the Olive Festival began as an annual event at the Downtown City Park in Paso Robles.  Yet this year will be marked as the 12th annual for the festivities, which venerate the olive in all its splendor.

Olive Festival

The huge event is hosted every August by the Main Street Association and presents everything associated with olives along with a host of typical arts and crafts exhibits. From essential oils to soaps, foods, ice cream and of course olive tastings, there are countless olive related samples available for your enjoyment.

The downtown area in Paso Robles is flooded with gourmet restaurants and tasting rooms, and yet the Olive Festival will also offer up wine tastings in the park as well as beer – get your tickets at the information booth next to the fountain with no water.

Everything olive

The still growing promotional event is to unite support for the fruit, while raising awareness. There are contests and demonstrations of all sorts related to the olive, with many of the region’s producers offering up their inspired tastings.

Olive bottles

Olives belong to a long history on the Central Coast and at one time was as popular as or more so than vineyards. There is a resurgence going on now and if you look around the rolling countryside here in Paso Robles, you’re bound to see orchards of olive trees dotting the landscape.

The health benefits of olive oil have become more known thanks in part to events like the Olive Festival. One big reason for this olive renaissance of sorts is the Paso Robles weather – which attracts so many great wines now – the same climate offers excellent conditions for olives.

By the way, I bet you didn’t know that the olive is a relative of jasmine and lilac.

Olive orchard

Ranches and orchards once dotted the landscape as much as vineyards do now.

Paso Wine Barrels missed 2014’s event, but has acquired space this year at this extremely popular gathering. And when you look us up on 12th and Spring Street, you’ll notice we also will have essential oils available as well (and wine barrel stave holders for your essential oils).  However, don’t be alarmed if you’re in town hoping to come by and purchase one of our barrels – we should have plenty available – but give us a call if you’re concerned. In any case, the festival runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday (August 15th in 2015) and is free to the public.


Daryle W. Hier



Wine Barrel Tables

Folks ask me all the time how to make a good-looking table out of a wine barrel. Yes, we do offer the Decorative Glasstop Wine Barrel Table, but for the most part, we’re plenty busy with producing these striking decorative barrels and don’t have the time to put together real furniture type products. Still, there are those out there who have many ideas and thoughts on what and how to do-it-yourself.

So, I’ve thrown together several pictures on here with a little bit of information that could help with what should be a great yet simple project. DIY Wine Barrel Table

Whole Barrels

The whole used wine barrel can offer up more than one piece of furniture that should be the talk of any room. Much like our Glasstop Table, you can purchase one of our barrels and then acquire a glasstop at your local glass shop and voila! You have a simple yet attractive table top. If you already half some bar stools, you’re all set. Wine Barrel Outdoor Table

I may have mentioned this before but if you picked two or three used barrels, find a nice table top or if you want to be recycle-crazy and go all the way, obtain a used door and sit it on top of the barrels. This is quite eclectic but would make for a great barroom or patio table. If you wish, you can place a large tablecloth over it to give it an elegant look. Either way, it will present a relatively inexpensive yet useful while being unique piece of furniture. And likely no one else in your sphere of influence will have one. You can take this idea even farther and create a long bar or table counter either inside or out and set several barrels underneath some flat wood. This offers a countertop in large open areas. Yes, there’s no end to what ideas are available.

Half Barrels

If you’re interested in half barrels, There are a great many ideas including the simplest idea of all – sitting the barrel on its wide end and using the head or cap area (as they’re widely known) as the table top. This is one coffee or end table that will never be knocked over.

You can also do what we mentioned above with the full barrel and that’s to put a glasstop over it. And remember, you can add unusual items underneath the glass such as wine corks. When it comes to these half barrels, you can turn them upside down so-to-speak and place a glasstop over the wide end where the barrel was cut. With an open area underneath the glass, the suggestions are endless. You can place any of many things or nothing at all.

Half Wine Barrel Table - Glass top 2 picsHope these pictures and ideas help inspire and give you a better overall view and thoughts on how and what you can do with wine barrels as tables. If you have some suggestions, feel free to add them here.


Daryle W. Hier



Paso Robles Restaurant Issue

Living in Paso Robles in the midst of wine country and the California Central Coast has privileges beyond what most folks enjoy. We are lucky and I appreciate this immensely.

If I was to complain

As with almost anything, if you think hard, there are situations you can complain about such as the wide ranging weather we can experience – some of which includes winds that can be a bummer, especially in the spring and early summer months. With barely 30,000 people living here, you wouldn’t expect traffic and essentially we don’t have any like big cities, but it can be aggravated by influxes of visitors and vacationers that can double our towns population during certain event, festivities or holidays. Also, being far enough way from major population centers like L.A. and the Bay Area has its disadvantages as well because the cost of bringing materials here makes the cost of living high.

I’m really okay with all that, but there is something great about another problem we have in Paso Robles: Food.

The town has great eateries with fantastic foods … but … and you knew I was heading somewhere – there are so many restaurants with fantastic, but high priced food, that it’s hard to find good meals at reasonable rates. Kinda bitchy, aren’t I.

Still, in the several years I’ve lived here, anytime I want to out for a decent meal, I have to get a Letter-of-Credit from the bank. It ain’t cheap.

A few good places

Sancho's on Spring

Sancho’s on Spring offers good food at reasonable prices.

Sure, we have some diners and locals small restaurants that offer good food at reasonable prices like Sancho’s on Spring, Joe’s Place and Touch of Paso. The issue here is that the latter two are not open for dinner and the former went out of business this past year. Yes, we do have an Applebee’s and Chile’s, which sort of fit the mold, but …

However, if you’re a foodie, Paso just may be your place. And as was mentioned recently in a San Francisco Chronicle article, the quality of food here in our cozy little town can match-up with the best. The hospitality of the town and its inhabitants is remarkable. So when you enjoy the restaurants in Paso Robles, you likely will leave happy about the entire experience.

Still, I would like to see some lower to mid range eateries, especially for dinner, that don’t make you feel like you were just mugged. Unlike a lot of foodie’s I don’t believe in paying an arm-and-a-leg for a meal.

Alright, I got that off my chest. Now it’s on to what makes me love this paradise called Paso Robles.


Daryle W. Hier