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Famed ‘Sideways’ Restaurant Will Open a New Wine Tasting Room in Buellton

The Hitching Post Tasting Room opens in July

The Hitching Post
Winemakers Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini official photo
Jeremy Ball

Hitching Post II, which was popularized by the film “Sideways”, will open a new tasting room next door to the now iconic restaurant. Founder Frank Ostini and partner Gray Hartley’s expansion hopes to open by July 2018 with a small menu of lunch bites that’ll accompany the wine pours.

Because the space was most recently a tasting room called Point Conception Wines, the revamp shouldn’t take long. Diners can go through various vintages of Hitching Post wine while diving into a small menu of wine-friendly fare on an outdoor patio.

Ostini’s background in California restaurants and wines goes back decades, and he specializes in preparing red oak-fired barbecue and steaks at the Hitching Post restaurant. In 1979, Ostini and Hartley launched Hitching Post Wines, which produces 17,000 cases a year.

But it was the 2004 film “Sideways” starring Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen that brought the restaurant and winemaker international attention. The pair were some of the industry’s earliest advocates of California pinot noirs. Paul Giamatti’s character was equally obsessed about wines made with pinot noir. For the record, Ostini and Hartley believe “Sideways” gave merlot a bad wrap and the grape deserves more respect, as it grows well in the Central Coast climate.

Hitching Post Tasting Room
420 East Highway 246
Buelton, CA

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