On several hundred acres in Hollister, old wine barrels sit in the sun, the wood aging as the vintages they once contained did.
“People love the old, rustic look,” says Brian Preetz, founder of Barrel Dreams, whose headquarters are in Campbell.
The Hollister ranch is used to store the barrels Preetz’s company rents to use as cocktail tables at corporate events, weddings and the like.
“Wine barrel events add a lot of unique character,” he says.
They can also have entertainment value. At a Google corporate team building event, employees took off their shoes, got on barrels and stomped grapes.
“There were thousands of people at that event,” Preetz says. “People said that we were entertaining, fun and that we made the party.”
Events comprise about a third of the business at Barrel Dreams, which has been in business for about 15 years. The rest of their revenue comes from turning wine barrels into household items.
“We take old wine barrels and make benches, chairs, dog beds, bistro tables and bar stools,” Preetz says. “We make over 50 items out of these barrels.”
Preetz purchases thousands of barrels at a time from vineyards that are rotating them out of service. He says barrels have a useful life of about four years when it comes to storing and aging wine.
While some barrels are sourced from vineyards in France, Italy and Hungary, Preetz also has local connections.
“We work with some of the largest vineyards in the country,” he says. “Joel Gott Vineyard in Napa Valley may be one of the largest vineyards in the world.”
Barrel Dreams’ retail space is located at 1249 Dell Ave., Suite B. For more information, visit http://www.barreldreams.com.