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They're still toasting 'Sideways' in Santa Barbara wine country

September 3, 2009 | 10:43 am


Not everyone is feeling the economic crunch. Check out this story in today's Business section about one area in California that is doing just fine, thank you very much:

In the wine country north of Santa Barbara, the global economic crisis has drained wine sales, sapped tourist spending and siphoned away hotel profits.

But five years after the Santa Ynez Valley was featured in an Oscar-winning film, the region is still feeling the upside of "Sideways." The offbeat comedy about the wine-soaked adventures of two hapless buddies drew crowds of connoisseurs to the region's wineries, vineyards and restaurants.

And to the delight of merchants and wine makers, the continued popularity of the 2004 film has helped soften the blow of the worst recession in a generation. Visitors continue to snap up maps that mark the wineries and restaurants shown in the film. Even today, tourists request the same hotel room and restaurant booths where the movie's bottle-tilting heroes, Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church), sleep, eat and drink -- a lot. Read the rest of the story here: