Saturday, March 22, 2008

The "Sideways" Tour

Last weekend, K-fed and I took a trip to wine country, north of Santa Barbara. If you saw the movie "Sideways"- then you will know exactly the trip we took. In the movie, they drove from LA to the central valley and toured around Buellton, Solvang, Santa Ynez, etc...These places are about 2+ hours away from LA and the drive up there was absolutely stunning. We did the exact same drive and started from where we live around Venice Beach, up Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) where you witnessed the beautiful Pacific ocean on one side and cliffs, valleys and mountains on the other with gorgeous terrain and spectacular homes. It was interesting to see how the terrain changed as we headed north, where it turned into really green rolling hills, fields of vineyeards, produce and every now and then, cute little towns. We stayed at the Windmill in and ate at the Hitching Post which was right down the street (in the movie, you see them walking there past the car dealerships). The food was actually delicious and of course the wine was to die for. We ate shrimp and steaks and ended with desert and ate until we couldn't eat anymore. It was awesome. One little town we went through was called Solvang, where it was all Dutch influenced and there were cool castles and windmills and it really felt like we were in another country. We spent Sunday morning in Solvang, eating breakfast where we had the most delicious danish pancakes. It was a beautiful morning eating outside in the patio area and after our nice, long breakfast- we were ready to attack the wineries for day 2.
Two of the most stunning vineyards we visited were on day 2, Sunstone and the winery that K-fed belongs to, Gainey. At Gainey- we got to go through the room with all the barrels of wine and the tasting room was way in the back. We sat in high back leather chairs and felt like kings as they came around and poured us 8 different wines to taste. We bought almost 20 bottles of wine while we were there, I bought some earrings and some cool books. It was a great experience and I learned a ton about wines and now I know what I love- and that's Pinot Noir and Syrah's. They were definitely my favorites at each of the wineries we visited. I am ready to go back and hit up more of the wineries- we only just scratched the surface.

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