DiscoverSavoring Solvang: A Sideways-Inspired Escape

Savoring Solvang: A Sideways-Inspired Escape

Solvang, nestled in the heart of California’s wine country, beckons travelers with its Danish charm, serene landscapes, and a wine scene that might remind you of a certain wine-soaked adventure from the movie “Sideways.” In fact, it’s so charming that my now-husband and I packed our car and moved across the country from Virginia to Solvang after experiencing a wine-tasting excursion for my stepdad’s 60th birthday. 

Map Courtesy of SantaBarbaraCA.com

Pack your bags and read on for tips on where to eat, where to stay, which wineries to visit, the best time of year to go, and even some bonus stops at breweries and distilleries that pay homage to the famous film.

Where to Stay

Solvang boasts a range of accommodations that reflect its Danish heritage. For a quaint and cozy experience, consider staying at the charming Mirabelle Inn, offering European-style luxury. Alternatively, The Landsby blends Scandinavian design with modern comfort. If you prefer a wine-themed stay, the Santa Ynez Inn is a short drive away and features wine tastings in its cozy library. If you want to truly walk in the footsteps of Miles and Jack, stay at the Sideways Inn in the next town over.

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

Where to Eat

Solvang’s culinary scene is as diverse as its wine offerings. Here are some dining spots to savor:

The Hitching Post II: A must-visit on a Sideways-inspired trip, this restaurant in the neighboring town of Buellton is where Maya works and Miles spent several nights eating and drinking. 

Root 246: This farm-to-table restaurant offers a modern twist on American classics, perfect for pairing with local wines.

Mad & Vin: Located in The Landsby, this restaurant specializes in California cuisine with Danish influences, ensuring a unique and delicious experience.

First & Oak: A hidden gem offering a tasting menu with wine pairings, perfect for an intimate dining experience.

Me at Koehler Winery!

Wineries to Visit

Solvang’s wine country boasts numerous wineries and tasting rooms, each with its own character and offerings. Here are a few you must explore:

Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard: Known for their Bordeaux-style wines and picturesque vineyard setting.

Carhartt Vineyard: A small family-owned winery producing exceptional Pinot Noir, Syrah, and more.

Kalyra Winery: Famous for its eclectic atmosphere and inspired by the movie “Sideways,” Kalyra offers diverse wine tastings and events. It’s also where Stephanie works in the movie.

Alma Rosa Winery: Founded by Richard Sanford, a pioneer of the Santa Barbara wine region, this winery focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Koehler Winery: A personal favorite, located in the Santa Ynez Valley, Koehler has delicious wines (try the Magia Nera!) and a fun, energetic, and knowledgeable staff. Plus you’re greeted by emus!

Best Time to Visit

Solvang’s wine country is enchanting throughout the year. My personal favorite time is March/April when everything is green!

Spring: Witness the vineyards come to life with vibrant greenery and blossoms. It’s my personal favorite time of year in Solvang!

Summer: Enjoy outdoor tastings, picnics, and warm evenings in the wine country.

Fall: Harvest season brings grape picking and beautiful foliage to the landscape.

Winter: Cozy up in tasting rooms by the fireplace, often with fewer crowds.

Bonus Stops: Breweries and Distilleries

If you’re in the mood for more than wine, Solvang offers options to explore:

Solvang Brewing Company: Craft beer enthusiasts will appreciate Solvang Brewing Company’s brews and pub-style dining.

Ascendant Spirits: Explore this local distillery, known for its innovative spirits, including whiskey and gin.

Additional Tips

Consider a guided wine tour to fully immerse yourself in the wine culture of the region. 

Explore Solvang’s Danish heritage with a stroll through the charming village filled with windmills, bakeries, and shops.

Solvang, CA wine country offers a delightful blend of wine, culture, and cinematic nostalgia. Whether you’re sipping Pinot Noir at a cozy tasting room, indulging in Danish pastries, or following in the footsteps of Miles and Jack from “Sideways,” your Solvang wine country trip is bound to be a memorable adventure. 

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