‘Sideways’ and ‘Daniel Boone’: Two reunions in Central Coast wine country

Fess Parker, Walt Disney, Norman Foster
Fess Parker, left, sits with Walt Disney and director Norman Foster, right, on the set of “Davy Crockett” on Oct. 18, 1954. Parker also played Daniel Boone in the Disney TV series.
(Associated Press)

California’s Central Coast is best known for the quality of its wine, but that reputation has come with a little help from show biz. This month, two notable reunions will pay tribute to that connection.

One is set to takes place Aug. 16 at the Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos, when actors Darby Hinton, Ed Ames, Rosey Grier and Veronica Cartwright and producer Barney Rosenzweig get together to talk about their six seasons together on the television show “Daniel Boone” and celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Fess Parker, who played Daniel Boone and founded the winery, died in 2010.

The show’s cast/production members and “Daniel Boone” fans will assemble on the winery grounds to watch some episodes, followed by a question-and-answer session with the actors.


Nobody’s going hungry: Georgia’s Smokehouse food truck will be dishing up southern BBQ and Fess Parker Winery chef Barrett Crandall will be turning out pizzas from the winery’s pizza oven.

The cost is $20 per person. Proceeds of the screening will benefit Old Yeller Ranch Rescue.

But that’s not the only event taking place at the annual SummerFess. Click on the link to purchase tickets and to find out about other events, including a tasting of older Fess Parker vintages. For more information, email or call (888) 877-3335.

And it’s too late to get tickets, but on Saturday, Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat will host a 10th-anniversary reunion for the Academy Award-winning film “Sideways.” That’s the pic that focused attention on the Central Coast wine country in a big way and may have had a share in hastening the decline of Merlot, a grape that is roundly denounced by the film’s main character, played by Paul Giamatti.


Director Alexander Payne and Giamatti are scheduled to attend the festivities along with other members of the cast and crew. Does that mean Sandra Oh too? She’s not listed as attending, but who knows? Actress Virginia Madsen, who is filming somewhere out of the country, is set to drop in via Skype.

Frank Ostini of the Hitching Post II, the Santa Maria-style steakhouse featured in the film, will be barbecuing for the crowd.

The guest list of a 100 or so is already set, namely the winning bidders of the Santa Barbara Wine Auction 2014 benefiting Direct Relief, a nonprofit organization that provides medical assistance to people around the world affected by poverty, natural disasters and civil unrest. The “Sideways 10-Year Reunion Live Package” auctioned at the event raised a total of $98,000 for the organization. 

The wines promise to be all “Sideways"-era, i.e. 2004, 2005 and 2006 wines from Au Bon Climat, Hitching Post and Clendenen Family Vineyards, with presumably not a Merlot in the bunch. The lucky attendees will each take home a commemorative “Sideways” Reunion bottle of Pinot Noir.

Not a winning bidder? Oh well, like the rest of us, you can hold your own mini-reunion, rewatching the film and popping the corks on a few “Sideways"-era wines.

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