Sideways   

A film by Alexander Payne  

Filmed on location in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, Alexander Payne's "Sideways" tells the story of two friends, Miles and Jack (Paul Giamatti Sideways: 2 Glassesand Thomas Haden Church) who set out to spend a weekend together before Jack's wedding. Along the way Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie (Sandra Oh) come into their lives. Virginia plays a waitress here at the Hitching Post.

Frank Ostini, owner and Executive Chef of the HItching Post II Restaurant and co-owner of Hartley Ostini Hitching Post Winery reminisces about the screenplay and the experience:Sideways Grapes and Glasses

"Sideways started more than 5 years ago as Rex Pickett (writer of the recently published novel, Sideways) would often hang out at our bar on his visits here from Southern California. He said he was writing a book about our region, its wines, wineries, restaurants and people. He said the bartender and a waitress were in it. I, being somewhat of a skeptic, didn't beleive it would ever be published. Boy, was I wrong!

Only in June of 2003 did we realize that Sideways would be a movie as location scouts began to comb the Santa Ynez Valley. Rex really had writen a novel, and that manuscript had been picked up by directer Alexander Payne. His people were setting up filming in many of the places Sideways: Alexander Payne and Actors
Paul Giamatti, Alexander Payne, Thomas Haden Church
that Rex had visited and writen into his soon-to-be book. The Hitching Post was one of those places. I, still being the skeptic, wasn't sure I wanted the HP to be part of this. Would they treat the Hitching Post, the HP and all my friend's wines, and our region with honor and respect? 

 I met the with the producer Michael London and many of his staff. I asked a million questions. After reading the script, I had issues with some of the content. I met with Alexander Payne to discuss these issues. He took note of what I had to say, although I knew he wasn't going to Frank Ostini, Virginia Madsen
Virginia Madsen and Frank Ostini
change his movie on my account. But I was convinced he was a sensitive, creative and very talented director. I knew we should be involved as much as we could.

Before filming started actress Virginia Madsen, who plays a waitress in the HP, came and spent time in our kitchen and bar to get a feeling of what that job is like and who we are. We also Lineup
Frank Ostini, Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti
Alexander Payne, Gray Hartley, Michael London
took her and co-star Sandra Oh to our winery to show them how we make wine. We also took them to Au Bon Climat winery where they enjoyed a famous Jim Clendenen lunch. 

Sideways was filmed in our region over ten weeks in October/November 2003.

They used the Hitching Post for three days.

We were braced for an unconfortable experience, having heard that Hollywood filmakers would trample our location, and all of us in their way. Instead, everyone on the Sideways team was considerate and a pleasure to work with and to be with. They were all so happy and glad to be working on this quality film with such a wonderful director in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. We were and are so happy to have been a part of Sideways!"

Hitching Post Hosts Faux Festivities/Benefit to Celebrate ``Sideways'. To read the Press Release click here.

Be sure to stop in and sample the Hitching Post hospitality and try our Hartley Ostini Hitching Post wines. We are open for dinner daily except major holidays. Wines are also available from retailers and our website.

Sidways: Setting Sun

Sideways photos and logo © 2004
Photographer Merle Wallace
Fox Searchlight Pictures. Used with permission.