A decade ago, the Alexander Payne film Sideways was filmed in the Santa Ynez Valley. The film chronicles the adventures of two middle aged pals, Miles and Jack, as they embark on a wine-tasting vacation before one of them gets married.
The film became a major success, earning countless rave reviews (it boasts a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and numerous awards, as well as commercial success at the box office. It helped turn Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, the actors who play the two leads, into household names. Both performers have had successful careers since appearing in the film. Sideways used authentic Santa Ynez Valley locations for all of the wineries and restaurants that the characters visit. This has made it easy for fans to visit the same places as the characters. Along with being a critically acclaimed film, Sideways also works effectively as a travelogue for the region in which it is set.
The Santa Ynez Valley region was already a popular vacation spot because of its pleasant climate, delicious wine, and high quality restaurants, but it experienced a significant uptick in tourism after the film was released. The success of Sideways has led to increased interest in the beautiful wine valleys of California. Other local attractions include horseback riding, great art museums, and plenty of outdoor places to hike and explore.
One of the most popular regions in the area is the charming Danish community of Solvang. Anyone who is interested in Danish culture should visit the bakeries and museums featured there. It allows visitors to experience a slice of Copenhagen without having to leave the United States. Like the rest of the Valley, Solvang is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of Sideways, which was released in 2004.
To celebrate this anniversary, Grapeline Wine Tours is holding a Commemorative Wine Tour of the wineries that are featured in the film. The tour will visit Kalrya Winery, Ostrich Land, Blackjack Ranch, and Foxen Vineyard. Frass Canyon, which was the setting of a memorable scene late in the film, is not included but can be visited separately. Grapeline can be reached to book reservations at 1-888-8-WINERY.
A Sideways wine tasting map can also be downloaded here. Visitors to the Santa Ynez Valley can use it to experience all of the restaurants and other locations that the characters visit in the film. Twitter followers can stay up to date by following the hashtag #Sideways10 on social media. Solvang and the rest of the Valley look forward to celebrating the anniversary of this seminal classic.
When you come to the Santa Ynez Valley this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the hit movie Sideways, be sure to make the trip unforgettable by staying in one of these remarkable vacation rental homes.