Monthly Archives: April 2015

Seeking foodies and artists: Historic town of Harmony revives.

Harmony,ca_townsignThe tiny coastal community of Harmony, California, population 18, has been many things to many people over the years—dairy town, artists’ colony, picturesque pit-stop on the road to and from Hearst Castle, Central Coast Wine Country and Big Sur—all of which the town’s new ownership embraces and plans to incorporate into the town’s future.

Purchased for an undisclosed amount in 2013 by a third-generation California dairy farmer and San Luis Obispo local, the town of Harmony is currently being scrubbed down and dolled up in preparation for the addition of the Harmony Valley Creamery Dairy Shoppe that will showcase locally-sourced dairy products, a farm-to-table restaurant and gardens for large gatherings from corporate parties to weddings.

A drawing of Harmony from 1883

A drawing of Harmony from 1883

Harmony’s heritage as a haven for music and visual arts will be preserved with galleries and studios like Harmony Glassworks, Harmony Pottery Works and the Painted Sky Recording Studio continuing their leases.

Harmony’s new owner, Alan Vander Horst—a dairyman by trade and a Cal Poly Agriculture graduate—fell in love with Harmony and the Central Coast while attending school. Today, his dream of reviving Harmony’s dairy-processing past is in full swing.

“Harmony has always been a special place for many people,” said Vander Horst. “Given its background as a dairy town, we’re looking to bring that element back and expand it a bit while keeping Harmony’s authenticity, charm, and artists’ studios intact.”

HarmonyCreameryA long-established fixture of California’s Central Coast, the town of Harmony has a rich supporting history. Founded in 1869 around a burgeoning local dairy industry, Harmony served as the capital of Central Coast dairy production for nearly half a century.

6605170713_e0459902fdFollowing the ultimate closure of the creamery, Harmony’s population steadily waned as the community saw much of the state’s dairy production transition from the Central Coast to the Central Valley. While undergoing periods of relative dormancy in the years leading up to its current renovation, today the 2.5-acre, 1-block town of Harmony looks to bustle once again. Currently the town is undergoing needed renovations and proper ADA access, and the creamery courtyard is being expanded to accommodate the new storefronts.

Harmony looks to attract the region’s local foodies and visitors traveling scenic Highway 1 as well as brides and grooms searching for the perfect wedding venue.

IMG_2618“The Harmony Chapel has seen a lot of weddings in its time, and we’re not about to change that,” said Vander Horst, adding that chapel weddings can host up to 60 guests and up to 100 outdoors once the garden grounds are completed. A limited number of dates to rent the entire town—including the Dairy Shoppe, restaurant, and gardens—for weddings and events of up to 250 guests are planned.

For more information about Harmony’s revival, please contact Elissa Wiese, Parker Sanpei, at 805-543-2288 or elissa@parkersanpei.com.

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It’s the world’s favorite grape. Is it yours?

Logo for EventbriteWe at Parker Sanpei love a good Chardonnay: everything from Burgundy and Chablis to the Finger Lakes and Edna Valley gets us purring. So when we heard that the world’s foremost gathering of Chardonnay producers will take place in our backyard, we bought our tickets right away. The International Chardonnay Symposium will feature top global Chardonnay winemakers during this year’s events, May 28-30, 2015 at The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa and The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach, California.

310 Sat Tasting _MG_3688

 

A sampling of panel discussions includes:

  • Hanzell Vineyards and Mount Eden Vineyards Retrospective Tasting, moderated by Fred Dame, MS
  • To Oak Or Not To Oak?: Exploring Chardonnay as the Chameleon of Vitis Vinifera, moderated by Brian McClintic, MS, Proprietor of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Diversity in Balance:  Pairing Chardonnay and Food, moderated by Bob Bath, MS, Wine Instructor for the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Napa, CA
  • The Fashion of Chardonnay: Examining Winemakers’ Stylistic Influence on Chardonnay, moderated by Nicholas Miller, Bien Nacido Vineyards, Santa Maria, CA

213 Sat Seminar & Lunch  _MG_3557Additional events include a Vintners’ Wine Tech Symposium, artisanal sausage and Chardonnay pairings, Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge, two Grand Tastings and La Paulée Dinner and Awards Ceremony. To learn about participation in these events or for tickets, please visit thechardonnaysymposium.com.

 

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