Posts Tagged ‘Sideways’
A Tasty Private Tour of the Santa Ynez Valley
From a winery in downtown Los Angeles to numerous fine tasting rooms in nearby Malibu we can also drive, or fly in a luxury helicopter, south to the Temecula wine region or north to the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. That is a lot of wine tasting choices for our guests to ponder. We find that most often we are planning visits to Malibu and Santa Ynez. We make these tours often enough to specify them on our website. If our guests have a day to spend (or two) we like to suggest a SIDEWAYS tour up north to revisit the wineries of the novel, film and play. Like the Napa Valley, there are too many superb wineries to visit them all (though we like to try) so we plan our visit as we travel based on the inclinations of our guests. We can tell which wines they will most enjoy just by them telling us which wines they like to drink at home. And then we will include some experimentation to keep the trip interesting. From grapes in the fields to aging barrels in the cellars to bottles on the shelf – the entire life cycle of wine – each winery has stories to tell about themselves and about the wine industry in California, in particular this incredible valley in the southern part of the state. The Gainey Vineyard (top photo) is always a fun stop that pleases our wine loving guests. Producing fine California wine for more than 30 years the winery is lively and the tastings divine. We also are likely to stop at the Firestone Vineyards which are so beautiful you want to sip your wine and just look out at the vines all day. But there are more places to visit, more wines to sample and buy, and let’s not forget a good lunch at one of many fantastic restaurants that we know – with wine, of course.
Our Private Wine Tour Goes Sideways
We call our private wine tour from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez Valley the Sideways tour for a couple of reasons. We were already traveling north from the city to that beautiful valley above Santa Barbara to visit wineries and sample the extraordinary wines when the movie was released. The popularity of the film greatly increased interest in our private wine tour so we began retracing the steps of Miles and Jack on their buddy road trip through the vineyards. We casually referred to the tour as our Sideways tour in response to requests from our guests. Because all of our tours are custom tours we would offer our guests choices of which wine tasting rooms to visit and let them decide. Some were actual film locations (like Kalyra Winery where these photos were taken), some were simply mentioned in the film and others were just special wineries that we had developed a passion for over the many visits we made to the area. Several years later we met Rex Pickett, the author of the novel, at the opening of the theatrical incarnation of his story. He offered to join us on tours if our guests requested and tell tales of wine and movies and become our sommelier for the tour. That’s pretty special. After all, we have been known to have Hollywood actors and writers ride with us through Los Angeles when our guests expressed an interest in learning about their jobs in person. A writer of Rex’s stature was a perfect addition to our Sideways tour.
The Santa Ynez Valley Is Calling All Wine Lovers
for a Private Tour
How many wineries can we visit on our “Sideways” tour of the Santa Ynez Valley up the California coast past Santa Barbara? Always enough to satisfy our guests. There are plenty to choose from as anyone knows who has visited the area or remembers the movie. We offer our guests the opportunity to watch the film as we drive up from Los Angeles. We can then visit the wineries used in the making of the film. Or, we can defer to suggestions given to us by Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways, about places to visit and where to eat and drink (wine). Our most recent favorite stop is Transcendance in Lompoc, a small custom winery with great atmosphere. We love to find new places to visit every time we do this custom luxury tour.
We love taking our private luxury tour guests up past Santa Barbara to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley for a visit to wineries located in that region and made popular by the success of the film Sideways. The drive to the Santa Ynez Valley in our luxury vehicle is spent watching the movie on the built-in 22″ flat screen monitor with surround sound. The all day tour visits a number of select wineries from the film for wine tasting sessions (and wine purchases, we have lots of cargo space) as well as a fine lunch in one of the better restaurants.
Now, for a special treat, we can make arrangements for Rex Pickett to join us on the tour. Rex is the author of the novel that became the film, and the writer of the audience pleasing Sideways – The Play now in production in Santa Monica. Rex has also published Vertical, the sequel to Sideways. Our guests on the Sideways Tour with Rex Pickett can talk about Hollywood and filmmaking (Rex is also a screenwriter and director), wine, golf, and many of the other topics that interest them and Rex. We will defer to Rex to decide which wineries to visit and make special arrangements with the vintners for preferred tasting sessions. Also, dinner will be at the Hitching Post, Rex’s favorite place to eat and a principal location in the novel, movie and play.
One final note on the Sideways Tour with Rex Pickett, we will offer the option to fly to Santa Ynez in the guests’ choice of helicopter: the very comfortable jet Eurocopter TwinStar or our newest aircraft, the only Sikorsky S76 corporate jet helicopter on the west coast! All our tours are custom so the guests are free to determine how they want to visit our local wine country.