•• It’s been 10 years since Miles and Jack’s wine-soaked romp through the vineyards of Santa Barbara wine country, and the impact of these memorable Sideways characters—created by by author Rex Pickett and brought to life by director Alexander Payne and a top-notch cast and crew—is still being celebrated throughout the region. This Academy Award-winning movie introduced the world to the incredible Pinot Noirs of Santa Barbara, and has forever changed the wine world’s perception of the bounty that Santa Barbara County has to offer.
The 10th anniversary celebrations for the movie Sideways kicked off last weekend with a wonderful party at Clenenden Ranch. Hosted by restaurateur and winemaker Frank Ostini (The Hitching Post II Restaurant & Winery) and winemaker Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat), this “Pig Pickin’ Party” was quite the shindig, featuring director Payne and movie star Paul Giamatti, an impressive roster of local winemakers, as well as special guests Jim n’ Nick’s BBQ of Birmingham, Alabama. Continue Reading
•• The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation and Direct Relief teamed up to help turn wine into funds, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the release of wine-themed “Sideways.” The Santa Barbara Wine Auction, the biennial gala event in its fourteenth year, raised $3 million in donations for Direct Relief. It also included a reunion of the stars of “Sideways,” drawing appeal for fans of the comedy.
In the 2004 film, Miles and Jack, played by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, respectively, took a trip to Santa Barbara’s wine country and repaired their lives during journey.
The foundation felt that the film’s plot aligned well with their goal of generating funds for Direct Relief through the wine auction. As an organization, Direct Relief aims to provide medical aid and relief to people facing emergency situations around the globe.
“A significant component of that number was contributed by bidders desiring the chance to come together to celebrate the anniversary of the release of ‘Sideways’ at a ten year reunion dinner,” said foundation president Jennifer Williamson Dore. Direct Relief matched the foundation by 30 times, thus generating $90 million in aid to people both domestically and abroad.