Category Archives: Design

Old Bank Barn As Winery

Driving about here on the Central Coast in wine country, there’s plenty of new and old blended into the scenery along the rolling hills of Paso Robles. Yes, the booming vineyard business has greeted us with new modern and fancy buildings and tasting rooms. And yet there are unique and distinctive farms and barns that have given me new appreciation for the old history of the region.

sleeping_lady_winery-bank_barn

Diamond in the rough

This brings me to an interesting story of a barn up in Napa Valley (near Yountville) that may be the only one of its kind. The historic building was built in the late 1800’s and could end up being the only bank barn as a winery.

Built into the side of a hill, bank barns are peculiar in that they have two levels reached from ground level, making it easily accessible. Construction of these unusual buildings is more expensive than a normal flat building, but they offer multi-level advantages including entry to an ‘upper’ floor from the ground. The descriptive word ‘bank’ stands for a slope.

What’s old is new

This particular barn will be restored by Napa Valley’s Sleeping Lady Winery, who is a successful vineyard in their own right.  The 3651 square foot barn will be a winery and includes a tasting room, fermentation area and barrel storage. A covered outdoor crush pad will be added as well.

sleeping-lady-vineyard

In helping to give significance and preserve this old barn, a local councilwoman, Juliana Inman, did some research that discovered this is one of only two bank barns listed with the state of California. They have to follow state guidelines for preservation and restoration of this historic site.

Napa certainly has a nugget to check out, when Sleeping Lady Winery is finished with their restoration here in the Golden State.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

.

 

 

 

 

Get this popular rare genuine coat and hat rack now! 

 

One-of-a-kind Coat And Hat Rack

Sometimes we come up with ideas based on what we personally need around the shop or home. We needed a couple of spots where we could hang coats during the winter and all our assorted caps and hats. This particular need and idea isn’t unusual and certainly others have made coat and hat racks – heck there are hundreds of them for sale.

Extremely unique coat and hat rack

Extremely unique coat and hat rack

Ah, but with that said, I looked around trying to find a handmade coat rack that was constructed strictly from a used wine barrel. Lo and behold to my surprise, I couldn’t find a coat/hat rack that was made only with wine barrel parts. Specifically, a used wine barrel stave and hooks made from hoop bands.

Nothing like this

Yes, you can find staves made into an assortment of products including coat racks. For instance we make one of these out of a barrel stave, but with three two-pronged brass hooks purchased from an outlet store. However, they are always made using store-bought hooks or other a sundry products made into a holder.

Now, it isn’t exactly easy taking a hoop band, cutting pieces off and then shaping them into a hook. Still, there are folks out there who have the ability to make things into almost anything you can imagine. Yet, the simple thought of creating a hook out of a hoop band from a wine barrel, obliviously didn’t happen.

So here you have it. We take a used wine barrel stave with all it’s inimitable appearance and sand it down just a bit to smooth out the roughness, but keeping the distinctive patina. We drill two holes on each end about 32 inches apart so it can be screwed into a typical wall which has 16 inch centers (the beams behind the wall). We then apply a single coat of sealer and stain – let dry – then cover with a coat of varathane to add a bit of shine to what is an unmatched coat and hat rack. We screw on five hoop bands which have been shaped and curved into a hook. These hooks are sanded down to take off any blemishes or sharp edges, while still maintaining the rugged look of a used wine barrel band. coat and hat rack with cap

Art?

Since each one is handmade, you will have the only one like it. These unique and apparently rare coat and hat racks will be the talk of the town almost as much as a piece of artwork.

Incredibly priced below $45 with free shipping – because we don’t know any better – they are available in limited supply right now, but over time, we will produce more. Check them out here: I don’t believe you will find anything else like it.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

.

Renovated Used Wine Barrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get these already popular barrels now! 

Hearst Castle Is Crown Jewel Of California Central Coast

In San Simeon, California, the Hearst Castle sits on a hill above the Golden State’s Highway 1, which itself is one of the most beautifully scenic and stunning drives in all the world. With unobstructed views and towering nearly a third-of-a-mile above the Pacific Ocean, Hearst Castle is certainly a magnificent jewel and inspiring creation by a visionary: William Randolph Hearst.

Hearst was originally from San Francisco, and quite the successful newspaper mogul, who built the infamous sprawling countryside mansion nearly a century ago with the help of an incredible architect, Julia Morgan. The collaboration of these two creative minds and their relationship is a story itself and something we will probably write about later on these pages.

The ‘ranch’

Siting roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the nearly impossible construction of what was called La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill), took an incredible amount of time, money and work. Engineering such a feat was an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, regardless of the fact that this out-of-the-way estate – or simply called the ‘ranch’ – is an exploit of unmatched beauty, elegance and charm.

The inside pool offers typical elegance and beauty of Hearst Castle

The showpiece is full of art and antiquities from all over the world, making this also an unbelievable museum. There are unique and dazzling pools to incredible artistic ceilings, both custom designed and brought in-tact from Europe. Rare works of ancient art are everywhere, which brings more history to an already historical landmark. Awe-inspiring vistas offered from many different views, make this special estate one for the ages.

Personal experience

I was recently able to see this must see jewel of the California Central Coast. I came away inspired by the breathtaking views, but maybe more so, by the creation of Hearst Castle and sheer determination it took to put logistics, manpower and a vision altogether and make it work. The tour starts at the bottom of the hill on a bus and winds up for several miles while the castle appears and disappears during the journey. Everyone’s taken for some kind of tour through the Hearst Castle area, which usually last 45 minutes, then you’re on your own until you want to leave on the many buses passing up and down the hill. Of note: I was interested to find out that the usual wealthy norms of the day weren’t practiced at Hearst Castle because of the more laid-back California mores, plus equality was relatively even-handed.

The Hearst Castle towers over the California Central Coast.

William Randolph Hearst never wanted the quarter-of-a-million acre ranch for himself and always shared the glamorous mansion with a constant flux of many guest, most of whom were famous in their own right. His goal was to have the property passed on to the state for others to to enjoy and that’s exactly what happened as a state park. Therefore, anyone who visits Paso Robles wine country, should take the time to drive out to the crown jewel of the California Central Coast and see this unforgettable man-made wonder.

Additional source: Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

.

Renovated Used Wine Barrel

Get these already popular barrels now! 

Where The Barrels Have Gone

Many have asked over the past months, why availability of used wine barrels has become poor, while prices have risen. The short answer is, well, there really isn’t a short answer.

To put it simply, several forces have been brought together to create this problem.

The most obvious answer to why there is a shortage of used wine barrels is due to winemaking, or rather the increased production and sale of wine, especially here in the United States. Wine consumption is at an all-time high in the U.S., therefore wineries are increasing output and in-turn retaining and using barrels longer. Add to that, the fact California grape productions has been huge over the last few years, which has vintners hedging their bets and holding onto barrels that would otherwise be retired. It’s a little more complicated than that, but essentially, barrels were being hoarded by wineries.

Spirit makers 

Now grape production has slowed a bit in California due to the drought, which we’ve discussed in prior stories. Okay, so where are those barrels? That’s another reason used wine barrels are more rare: spirit makers are buying up those used barrels from the Golden State for increased production of different alcohols including whiskey. Couple that with more craft brewers using more used wine barrels – like local brewery Firestone Walker – and voila, barrels disappeared from the barns of wineries at alarming rates.

Whiskey barrel with bottle lights

Barrels are used for a multitude of creations

These aren’t the only reasons that barrels are harder and harder to find. The furniture business has exploded with used wine barrels being taken apart to be re-crafted into a menagerie of furnishings such as chairs, which are extremely popular. Also, art-based fixtures like lighting and more simpler ideas such as pots and pan holders, plus more common uses like hat and coat hangers with staves have burst on the scene.

We at Paso Wine Barrels are always searching and sometimes we have to limit the sale of used barrels so we have enough to make our popular Decorative barrels. In two years, we’ve had a couple one-month spells where there weren’t enough barrels to go around. The industry will ebb and flow with availability a matter of timing as to who has barrels and who doesn’t.

A few years ago, it wasn’t unusual for used wine barrels to be free to pick up. Those days are long gone.

Additional sources: Wine Institute

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

.

 

Rustic_Stave-coat_holder

Wine Barrel Stave Coat Racks

Come on, you knew it was coming. Why do I say that? Because the reason Paso Wine Barrels is now producing coat hanger racks made from authentic oak wine barrels, is due to a constant drumbeat by customers asking for them. You were heard and here they are.

Decorative wine barrel stave coat rack.

Both of these products – Decorative and Natural – come direct from wine country and offer a uniqueness that no store-bought product can match. The complete originality is still there in all its splendor on the Natural coat racks, and the finish on the Decoratives coat racks still shows off the patina.

Unique

You can throw a coat or cap on these one-of-a-kind hangers. No two barrel staves are the same and after being used for some years, each has character and a captivating appeal unmatched in the otherwise very boring coat hanger rack world.

Natural wine barrel stave coat rack.

The staves are typically about 36 inches long with three brand new two-pronged brass hooks for your hat or jacket. There are holes drilled near both ends set at 32 inches apart – so you can easily screw them into your wall beams if you want. A standard home has what they call 16 inch centers, meaning every 16 inches, your home has a up and down two-by-four. Also, the height of each staves is about three inches, but can range from two-and-half inches up to four inches tall – We said unique. There is just about one inch of thickness for every wine barrel stave, allowing for plenty of wood to secure any kind of situation.

Free Shipping

Shipping is free currently and look for the product to made available internationally in the not too distant future.

Whether you choose the Natural or Decorative, you will have the only one like it. This distinctiveness and exclusivity is as genuine as the used wine barrels they came from.

The price of the Natural wine barrel stave coat rack is $39 and the Decorative style goes for $49. Again, shipping is free within the Continental U.S.

In person

Trading Day premiered wine barrel staves as coat racks.

If you were lucky enough to be on the Central Coast this past weekend and visited the arts and craft show in Downtown Paso, then you saw our inimitable racks firsthand. And if you do want to see them in person, you can visits us once again at the Park in Downtown Paso for the Lavender Festival on July 11th.

Alright, you’ve won with your persistence, now it’s time to order.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

.

Essential Oils Display Holder

Nearly since the beginning of time, essential oils have been used by humankind. Extracted from plants, essential oils or EOs, have been apart of medicinal history and formed a backbone for medical aids. Recently, it appears the homeopathic popularity of EOs has created a buzz and become somewhat of a leader in natural health and healing therapies.

Whether as an alternative too or complementary of traditional medicine, with this growth, the essential oil business has boomed. And why is a blog on wine barrels talking about a rather obscure world of EOs? Well, companies like multi-level marketer doTerra are leading a charge of sales advocates who are promoting and distributing EOs around the world.

As with any sales demonstration, the product needs a eye-catching display, and that’s where wine barrels come in – or more specifically, used wine barrel staves. Similar to the craze of essential oils, so too wine barrels and their components are becoming popular and more widely seen in a broad assortment of uses.

A strikingly unique display

One of those uses is as a holder of the small bottles that essential oils come in. The display is just starting to be used by wellness advocates from doTerra, but actually can be used by anyone who would like the eclectic use of a wine barrel stave to show off your oils in a home or business.

Currently, this Essential Oils Display Holder is available in its natural form with no changes other than holes drilled in the stave, for placing the vials of essential oils into. This exhibit holds a total of 11 bottles, with 10 spaces for 15 milliliter (ml) bottles and one for a 5ml bottle. The stave offers the usual patina of a wine barrel stave with an aged look, possible stains and the rustic appearance barrels can get.

No two staves are the same, so each is unique, distinctive and inimitable in its own way. The new product from PasoWineBarrels.com is available, however, the interest and want to have this one-of-a-kind creation is outpacing production, so don’t be surprised if there’s a few days delay in receiving the essential oil display holder.

There are plans underway to produce a Decorative EO display holder as well, but the release of this latest product is still weeks away. In the meantime, for all you wellness folks, you can go to the Paso Wine Barrels website to purchase the display or go to one of our occasional appearances at arts and craft shows, mainly in Downtown Paso Robles. Our next show is Trading Day on the first weekend of summer (June 20th).

This stave holder can be utilized for a wide variety of applications outside of the essential oils like doTerra – anything that can fit into the inch and an eighth hole. The uses may be endless, so check it out.

Note: Other than Paso Wine Barrels, I am not a part of any company including doTerra. 

Additional source: doTerra – Melinda Hier-Goetz

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

.

Wine_barrel_staves-three

http://pasowinebarrels.com/

Cork for the Bathroom

I was researching cork several weeks ago, when I found out that cork was being made into beautiful furniture. I believe it was IKEA that brought it to my attention. Quite a bit of it is made from recycled cork, which itself is a renewable resource. Now this blog here from a fellow blogger, Ann Porter, brings more information and looks regarding cork in the bathroom. Check it out.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

Kitchen Studio of Naples, Inc.

These days we are pretty comfortable with the use of cork for flooring and wall treatments but the notion of a bathroom fixture made from cork is pretty spectacular.

GRANORTE, based in Portugal, is a leading sustainable flooring manufacturer and producer of cutting-edge cork products from vessels and tile to lighting and furniture.

NuSpa Cork Bathroom Fixtures | KitchAnn StyleInitially created to recycle the cork waste from the cork stoppers manufacturing industry, the GRANORTE product portfolio now includes sculpted bathtubs.

The latest robotic technology allows GRANORTE to carve beautiful tubs from solid agglomerated cork using a seven-axis robotic sculptor capable of intricate and large forms.

The cork, as a raw material, provides the perfect plasticity, warmth and comfort, and is sustainable as an ecologically harvested and recycled product.

NuSpa Cork Bathtub | KitchAnn Style

GRANTORE products have a reputation for delivering superb quality as well as eye-catching styles. They have won numerous awards such as the 2014 APCOR Innovation in Cork Award and iF DESIGN AWARD 2015; Bathroom…

View original post 165 more words