Santa Barbara Journals

Sideways or not in Solvang, Santa Barbara Wine Reg

A September 2005 trip to Santa Barbara by vondrejech

Bridlewood Winery Photo, Santa Barbara, California More Photos
Quote: This is an update about the Solvang and Santa Barbara wine region, as I’ve visited numerous times since I began writing about the area in 2002. I’ve discovered better wineries and more hidden places to explore. There’s also the movie Sideways, which is bringing attention to the area.
Bridlewood Winery Photo, Santa Barbara, California
This is an update to my previous journals. I’ve discovered new wineries and more hidden places to eat and drink. There’s also the movie Sideways that turned this once quiet hideaway into a tourist trap. I’ll write a separate journal for those of you intent on following the movie path instead of enjoying the tourist free zones. The Santa Barbara wine region is located 29 miles northwest of the city of Santa Barbara. It’s a bit of a drive to Santa Barbara so if your planning on exploring for a few days I’d recommend staying in Solvang where there are plenty of hotel options. The region is divided into smaller towns and appellations each with its own charm and beauty. I’ll give a quick overview ...Read More
Sunstone Picnic Photo, Santa Barbara, California
There are so many wineries and so little time as most are open between 10am and 4pm so you don't want to waste time waiting for food in a restaurant for lunch. Additionally almost every vineyard has gone through the trouble of making a beautiful picnic area, since they don't sell food they hope you'll bring your own and buy a bottle of their wine to go along with it (you can also avoid the restaurant mark up this way), and who has a more beautiful setting than around the vines. Just off highway 154 is the Los Olivos Market, a fabulous country market where you can purchase picnic items and while they're making your sandwich or steak you can shop for local products including lavender soaps and loti...Read More

Sideways tour

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Firestone Photo, Santa Barbara, California
The movie sideways brought many visitors to the Santa Barbara wine region. The good news is that more people are learning about wine, the bad news is that there are many people who don't care about the wine, they just want to see where the movie shots were taken. They fill up the tasting rooms and don't purchase wine or don't seem to care about the education that the pourers are willing to share. It can be fustrating to have to wait to sample a new release from one of your favorite wineries as someone else is hogging the bar only to ask questions about the movie. For the die-hards who have to go everywhere that the movie was filmed I'll give a bit of my own experiences about the locations in the ...Read More