The Film Geek: Central Valley, California
Why Go: The Central Valley is the little sister to the Type-A powerhouse of Napa Valley, but therein lays its charm; despite having consistently produced some of America and the world’s best wines for half a century, the Central Valley still has the feel of an upstart. Plus, now that the tourism due to Alexander Payne’s 2004 film Sideways has died down, you can order a Pinot Noir without getting the side-eye from one of the region’s many established vintners.
Top Wine: Did you not even see Sideways? Pinot Noir or nothing. Specifically, Talley Vineyard’s 2005 Pinot Noir.
Don’t Miss: Sanford winery is one of the oldest in Santa Barbara. Set in the middle of the sprawling La Rinconad Pinot Noir vineyard, the atmosphere is fantastic, and the wine is even better.