In a remote mountain location between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a 4000-acre ranch site is gradually coming of age. When complete, it will include a winery, an olive farm, a horse-training and -trading facility, greenhouses, and a number of other facilities.

While it is a great place to grow grapes and olives, the location makes the delivery of ready-mixed concrete nearly impossible. But project manager (and owner) Brian Cowen and his team are addressing that challenge with a 9-cubic-yard volumetric mobile mixer, batching concrete when and where it is needed. Almost all of the concrete used includes 2¼-inch Forta Ferro long structural synthetic fiber instead of rebar—about 3½ pounds per cubic yard.

Approximately ½ mile of colored and texured driveway sends visitors to the main complex. Cowen also used the mixer to encase straw bales with shotcrete for the equine center and to cast the roof trusses and panels for the building.

According to Cowen, “We routinely batch pours as large as 240 cubic yards of fiber-reinforced concrete, most of it placed with a 4-inch pump.”

Cowen is an attorney who specializes in the construction industry and plans to continue developing this project for years.


  • Owner: Avacus Winery, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
  • Concrete Contractor: Owner
  • Concrete Supplier: Mobile Technologies volumetric mobile mixer