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The film Sideways (2004) made a star out of Santa Barbara Wine Country and drummed up demand for pinot noir around the world. Helmed by Alexander Payne, (Election, About Schmidt) who won an Oscar® for the adapted screenplay (based on the novel by Rex Pickett) he wrote with his long-time screenwriting partner, Jim Taylor, Sideways tells the story of a celebratory road trip saluting Jack's (Thomas Haden Church) final days as a bachelor. A sojourn in Santa Barbara County's verdant valleys quickly careens sideways as he and Miles (Paul Giamatti) hit the gas en route to mid-life crises. The unlikely pair share a heady blend of failed potential and fading youth and a nose for drowning in wine and women (Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen).
Follow Miles and Jack's footsteps with Sideways, The Wine Tour Map, a free self-guided tour brochure spotlighting 18 locations from the feature film.
From the offbeat to the obscure, linking the dots of the film's shoot locations is a great way to savor Santa Barbara's wine region. Key Sideways stops include top boutique wineries: Andrew Murray Vineyard, Foxen Vineyard and Kalyra Winery, where the two stars flirt their way through a flight of wines. A visit to Ostrich Land delivers 33 acres flush with fine feathered friends and dining at the venerable Hitching Post II is a must for visitors hot on trying traditional Santa Maria-style tri-tip. Other stops include the River Course at the Alisal Guest Ranch for world-class golf with a view, Solvang Restaurant for a true Danish dining experience, Firestone Vineyards for a picnic and Fess Parker's Winery, where Miles upsets the apple cart by downing the tasting room's communal spit bucket!
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Here's a peek at what's happening in February:
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