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Sideways 10 Year Anniversary: Foxen Vineyards and Winery

An interview with Dick Doré, co-founder of Foxen Vineyards and Winery
Foxen Winery and Vineyards

Call it destiny or random chance, but my trip to Santa Maria, California happened to fall near the 10 year anniversary of one of my all-time favorite movies: Sideways. Director Alexander Payne's cast included Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, and Thomas Hayden Church, becoming the most famous wine-themed movie of all time. The film was nominated for many awards and was even made into a Japanese version. Crazy. It especially changed the lives and futures of local winemakers in the Santa Maria and Los Olivos area.

This area and its wineries became celebraties themselves in a way; crowds, increasing younger, flooded these tasting rooms to sample their wines and remember their favorite Sideways scenes.


Who can forget the famous Hitching Post II? I eat there religiously every time I'm in that area and I'm now a huge fan of their burger night on Mondays. Ask for Barbara the bartender - she's a riot. And what about the great monologue by Maya about the life of wine? I actually had the honor of performing that scene in Ivana Chubbuck's acting class and it was one of my own favorite performance moments. Watch my interview with Dick and discover a little secret about Maya's character.

Several wineries were visited by characters Miles and Jack in Sideways including Foxen, Firestone, Fess Parker, Sanford and Kalyra. I chose to stop at Foxen first because I knew they made great wine, but I also wanted the know their Sideways story and how it made an impact on their business.

Founders Dick Doré and Bill Wathen started making sustainable wine together at Foxen in 1985. They have now opened a second tasting room, "Foxen" at 7600 Foxen Canyon Road, but you can still visit their original tasting room, "The Shack" at the 7200 address. According to Dick they are currently making "way too many wines," he jokes. 28 to be exact. His family has owned the Foxen property since 1837 and their anchor logo used to be his great-great grandfather's cattle brand.

How did the Sideways movie change things for them? You can hear it from him:

If you are going to be visiting Foxen Vineyards and Winery soon, then here's a peek at what they will be pouring. Their tasting rooms are open daily from 11am to 4pm and a tasting will cost you $10.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc

2012 Sauvignon Blanc and Foxen Winery and Vineyards
Vogelzang Vineyard
  • 230 cases produced
  • Bottle price: $28.00

2011 Pajarito

2011 Pajarito at Foxen Winery and Vineyards
Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
  • 450 cases produced
  • Spanish for "little bird"
  • 53% Merlot, 47% Petite Verdot
  • Bottle price: $42.00

2010 Volpino

2010 Volpino at Foxen Winery and Vineyards
Santa Ynez Valley

2010 Guillermo Grosso

2010 Guillermo Grosso at Foxen Winery and Vineyards
Santa Ynez Valley

Foxen Vineyard & Winery