A Hollywood Boost to Monterey Wine Country Tourism Leads Vintners to Dub the Region ‘Sideways North’

Monterey County Vintners Taking Their Own Wine Tour On-The-Road

MONTEREY, Calif., March 7 /PRNewswire/ — The popularity of the movie “Sideways” is reverberating throughout Monterey Wine Country, causing some local vintners to dub their region “Sideways North.” The film is having a very positive effect on wine tasting-related tourism, according to Rhonda Motil, executive director of the Monterey County Vintner and Growers Association (MCVGA).

Monterey area wineries are both amused and supportive of the upswing in wine country tourism, due to the phenomenal success of “Sideways.” The independently produced, Oscar-winning movie documents a wine-fueled, two-man bachelor party through Santa Barbara wine country. Santa Barbara occupies the southern section of California’s Central Coast region, while Monterey dominates the north. Motil comments, “The wine industry typically has a certain mystique for most consumers. They are intrigued by it, but it can also be intimidating. A movie like ‘Sideways’ helps to portray a lifestyle that people want to be affiliated with, in a manner that the average person can relate to. Over the past few months, we have seen a steady increase in traffic in our tasting rooms as people look to create their own ‘Sideways’-style experience.”

MCVGA will be reinforcing Monterey as California’s “Sideways North” wine region during the MCVGA’s promotional wine tour through the cities of San Diego, Dallas and Houston during the months of March and April. The tour will boast over 25 brands, including four of The Wine Enthusiast’s recent “Top 100″ winners and two additional winners in the “Top 100 Values” category. The trade and media in the markets are invited to complimentary afternoon tastings; consumers will attend an evening tasting with all proceeds going to local charities.

According to MCVGA member David Dennigmann, brand manager for Pessagno Winery, “Just a few hours north from Santa Barbara, and easy driving distance from other favorite tourist spots like San Francisco, Monterey County is positioned to captivate an audience of both novices and experienced wine consumers. Guests find the local wine personalities approachable and passionate about their art, while the quality of the wines speak for themselves. We are pleased to be taking our wines on the road with our fellow vintners to showcase the flavor of Monterey Wine Country.”

Tickets for the Monterey National Tour can be obtained at www.montereywines.org, or by calling 831.375.9400. A sampling of the Monterey County Wine Tour participants include: Arroyo Seco Vineyards, Bernardus Vineyards and Winery, Blackstone Winery, Carmel Road Winery, Carmichael Vintners, Chateau Julien Wine Estates; Estancia Winery, Galante Vineyards, Hahn Estates / Smith & Hook Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, Jekel Vineyards, Joullian Vineyards, Lockwood Vineyard, Marilyn Remark Winery, Monterra, Morgan Winery, Paraiso Vineyards, Parkfield Vineyards, San Saba Vineyards, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Tudor Wines; Ventana Vineyards / Meador Estate Wines, and Wente Vineyards.


The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association (MCVGA) brings together the talents and resources of members, partners and our community in order to promote and support its leadership in the art, the science and the business of wine. Founded in 1974, MCVGA is a nonprofit organization representing over 75 vintners and growers in Monterey, California.

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