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A whale of a fest


If you like your craft beer with a side of yoga, your kombucha with a side of arts and crafts, and your live tunes with an array of tacos, pizza, barbecue, acai, and vegan/vegetarian options, there's a whale you should probably talk to this Sept 15 and 16. Founded by a couple of Paso Robles winemaking pioneers, the Whale Rock Music & Arts Festival came about organically by way of Niels and Bimmer Udsen's longtime commitment to supporting the arts and their local community. Some backstory: The Udsens established Castoro Cellars in 1983, and together, with sons Luke and Max and daughter-in-law Lauren, they threw a wild 30th anniversary party they called Beaverstock (for those new to the scene, this was way back in 2013). The event was such a hit, the gang decided to make it an annual gig, although I'd say it became more of an "awakening" than a festival. In fact, Beaverstock attendance hit a record 4,000 in 2016, which is pretty crazy for what began as a small gathering in a quiet North County vineyard. You may have noted that the family changed the fest's name last year (the hippies from Woodstock and their lawyers have lost their sense of humor; blame the brown acid). Whale Rock Music & Arts Festival was a natural choice, as the event takes place in the Udsen's Whale Rock Vineyard. No matter the name, the spirit, format, and soul of the original event lives on. Proceeds from the inaugural fest were donated to MUST! Charities, a local nonprofit that supports under-privileged children in the local community. The family has continued to spread the good vibes, donating proceeds to both the Templeton Education Foundation and the Templeton High School Band. To date, those contributions total more than $70,000! How's that for peace, love, and happiness? Aged hippies, take note!

Castoro Cellars is located at 1315 N. Bethel Road in Templeton. For more information on vendors, lineup, and tickets, go to

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