A Walk in the Clouds movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was A Walk in the Clouds filmed?

1995

About A Walk in the Clouds

A Walk in the Clouds is an ode to oenophiles the world over. This film was directed by Alfonso Arau, and the filming took place from July 1994 to October 1994. It was released in 1995 and is an American romance drama. A Walk in the Clouds is an adaptation of the Italian movie Four Steps in the Cloud.

The story centers on a young soldier, Sgt Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves), who returns to San Francisco at the end of World War II and discovers that his wife Betty (Debra Messing) has stopped reading and responding to his letters. She also doesn't come to the Harbor to receive him and is surprised when he returns home after 4 years. Paul wants to settle down and start a family, but Betty wants different things in life. She urges him to pick up his old job (that of a chocolate salesman). Since he wants to assimilate into civilian society again, Paul leaves and heads to Sacramento in search of work.

On the train to Sacramento, he meets a young lady who throws up on him. Paul tells her it's alright and continues with his journey. After the train journey, because of a ticket mix-up, he gets on a bus and again meets the same lady on the bus. After some rowdy punks hassle her, Paul gets into a fight and gets thrown off the bus. As he's walking, he sees the lady, Victoria Aragon (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon), sitting on her suitcase and crying. As they introduce themselves, Victoria tells Paul she's pregnant with her professor's child. Paul offers to pose as her husband in front of her orthodox and traditional family.

What follows is an enchanting and captivating love story between two people with nothing in common. Paul learns about the vineyard, falls in love with Victoria, and manages to divorce Betty (who is also involved with another man). He also retrieves the roots of a plant that help get the winery back on its feet after a fire.

City Locations

Los Angeles, Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley, Saint Helena, California

Location Types

Architectural, Apartment, House, Naturescapes, Ranch, Rustic, Automotive, Buildings, Ship Docks

Location Styles

Americana, Boat Style, Bus, Train, Classic Car, Classic Truck, Dated, Retro, Ranch Style, Dock, Truck Style, Van

A Walk in the Clouds Locations

For most of the scenes, the A Walk in the Clouds production team chose locations in wineries in California. Some scenes like those at the beginning of the film, where Paul returns to San Francisco after World War II, were filmed at the Downtown Harbor, San Pedro. The war scenes were clips from history, while some were shot on sound stages in studios.

Most of the filming was done in California and surrounding areas, with all the wineries within driving distance for the cast and crew members.

There was plenty of care taken during filming to ensure no harm came to the grapes and the crop. The team also ensured no animals were hurt or harmed during the filming process. Considering the film's pace and locations, the surrounding geography perfectly fits with the storyline. The plot, scenes, wineries, and the information about the plantations, harvest, and fermentation of wine were followed in detail.

There were plenty of scenes where oenophiles could relate to the winemaking process and recognize the various wineries in California.

Teaser: Film fans should ensure wine tasting tours are included in their tour packages while searching for the filming locations. Doing this will help you enjoy the trip and have a good time!

Fun fact:

This film was made with a $20 million budget and grossed at $91 million globally.

Paul introduces himself to Victoria scene in A Walk in the Clouds

Redwood Cellar, Charles Krug Winery, 2800 Main St, St Helena, CA

Sgt. Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves) fights with two men who trouble a fellow female passenger (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon) on the bus ride. The bus driver throws all three of them off the bus. When Paul walks away, he realizes the lady on the bus (whom he also met on the train) is crying on her suitcase in the middle of the road.

Paul approaches her, saying, "I'm sorry, I don't think we've been properly introduced. I'm Paul Sutton." She shakes his hand while replying, "Victoria Aragon. I'm sorry about the bus. I feel terrible. All the problems I've caused you. You should just keep going. Who knows what will happen to you next."

For this meet-cute, the filming location of A Walk in the Clouds was just outside the Redwood Cellar on a side lane. Since most of the filming happened in California, the bus ride and this scene were shot very close to each other. Getting to the Redwood Cellar is quick if you catch bus number 10 and get off at Hwy 29 at Lodi Ln. However, from this stop, the walk back to the winery is approximately 20 – 25 minutes, which is where this scene is filmed.

Paul and Victoria overlooking the winery scene in A Walk in the Clouds

Duckhorn Vineyards, 1000 Lodi Ln, St Helena, CA

After Victoria tells Paul she is pregnant with her professor's child, Paul offers to walk her home to her family's winery. As they walk, they finally reach a high road from which the family winery is visible. As Victoria watches over her family's estate, she tells Paul, "We call it Las Nubes. It means the clouds." As Paul looks over with wondrous eyes, he says, "It's beautiful. Well, if we're going to do this right…," and pulls out what he calls the wedding bonbon deluxe from a box.

He removes the chocolate gold metal ring from the satin cushion and slips it onto Victoria's ring. Paul suggests that they pretend to be married in front of Victoria's family so that her unborn child gets a name and her family doesn't shame her and throw her out.

The majority of the A Walk in the Clouds locations are in and around wineries in California. This scene with Paul and Victoria overlooking her family winery was shot at Duckhorn Vineyards close to Redwood Cellar on the same road. Catch bus number 10, and hop off at Hwy 29 at Byrd Hill Ln. The winery is a 15-minute walk from the stop.

Paul and Victoria get shot at scene in A Walk in the Clouds

Beringer Vineyards, 2000 Main St, St Helena, CA

As Paul and Victoria enter the winery, they hear gunshots and run while trying to get cover from whoever is shooting at them. As Paul and Victoria are on the ground and surrounded, Paul raises his hands and says, "We're unarmed. Don't shoot." As he says this, Victoria steps out from behind Paul, looks at the man with the gun, and says, "Hello, Papa." Her father, Alberto Aragon (Giancarlo Giannini), asks her, "Victoria, who is this?" She replies, "Paul Sutton, my husband." Hearing this, Alberto fires off another shot in anger.

Alberto leads the couple to the house and bangs the front door open, yelling, "Marie! Marie!" Paul turns to Victoria and assures her, "It'll be okay." Alberto whirls around and screams, "Like Hell it'll be okay!!"

While there are a few notable A Walk in the Clouds action scenes, this is the first instance of violence in the film with the gunshots. The filming location of this scene is amongst the vines and grapes at Beringer Vineyards, and the house exterior is of Rhine House, which is also on the estate. Like many other wineries in the movie, even this one is at St. Helena, California. Getting here is fastest via the US-101 S and CA-128.

The grapes catch frost scene in A Walk in the Clouds

Mayacamas Vineyards & Winery, 1155 Lokoya Rd, Napa, CA

Paul awakens from a horrible nightmare, and Victoria tries to comfort him. While she is speaking to him, they suddenly hear bells tolling in the distance. Paul asks Victoria, "What's the matter?!" Victoria looks out over the vineyards and gasps in horror, "Frost!" They run to the vineyard, where they see Alberto and his elder brother Don Pedro Aragon (Anthony Quinn), trying to heat the grapes to save them.

The family and all the vineyard staff have large cloth butterfly wings and burners placed between the grape vines. They use the large cloth wigs to pass heat and melt the frost clinging to the seeds, vines, and grapes. Victoria gently moves her arms up and down and tells Paul, "Like a butterfly." From behind Paul, Alberto yells, "If you're going to help, help!"

This A Walk in the Clouds film scene with the heat, controlled fire, and the butterfly wings to save the grapes is shot at Mayacamas Vineyards in Napa, California. It was an emotional yet educational scene for the audience since grape control, management, and maintenance are not commonly known. This vineyard is easily accessible via CA-29 S and Mt Veeder Rd onto Lokoya Rd.

The grape stomping scene in A Walk in the Clouds

Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena

After a successful harvest, it is time for the wine festival in the Valley. After the grapes are harvested, they are stomped on to ensure they are soft and delicate enough for fermentation into wine. The family and extended cousins meet for the wine festival and the grape stomping. Don Pedro's wife blows on a seashell to signal the start of the season. Since this is all new to Paul, Don Pedro explains, "My wife's family, the Aztecs, have a belief that you have to have the permission of the four winds to harvest what the Earth gives." Saying so and pointing Paul towards his wife, Don Pedro says, "Isn't she beautiful?"

As he finishes, everyone starts clapping, people start smiling, and Don Pedro walks out in the crowd saying, "Las Mujeres!!" The music immediately starts, and all the ladies enter the grape pit and start stomping!

The wine festival scene is one of the best scenes in A Walk in the Clouds. It is filmed at the picturesque Pasadena City Hall at the Large Courtyard. Getting to Pasadena City Hall is most accessible by metro. Simply get onto the Metro L Line (Gold), get off at Memorial Park, and walk for a few minutes to reach the Large Courtyard.

Paul comes to the harbor scene in A Walk in the Clouds

Downtown Harbor, 504 Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA

After World War II ended, Sgt. Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves) returns to San Francisco amidst much fanfare. One of his fellow soldiers asks him, "When was the last time you saw her?" His friend refers to Paul's wife, Betty Sutton (Debra Messing). Paul and Betty had a whirlwind courtship and wedding just before Paul left to fight in the war.

In response to his friend's question, Paul replies, "Our wedding day. Four years ago." The friend realizes what must have happened and says, "Let me guess. Met her on Friday, married her on Sunday, shipped out on Monday?" Paul laughs and says, "Pretty much!"

His friend says, "Me too. I'll bet we don't even recognize them anymore."

As Paul and his fellow soldiers get off at the Harbor, Paul realizes all his friends' loved ones come to greet them and receive them, but Betty doesn't turn up, and Paul is left feeling alone.

The A Walk in the Clouds filming location for this scene was the Downtown Harbor at San Pedro, south of Pasadena. To reach the Downtown Harbor area, catch bus number 142 and get off at 7th St & Palos Verdes St. From this stop, the Harbor is a 4-minute walk.

Conclusion

A Walk in the Clouds had mixed reviews from audiences. Many felt the movie was relatively slow and long. However, oenophiles loved the speed and length of the film for the wineries, locations, stunning vistas, and the winemaking process portrayed in the movie. While the film is predominantly a romantic drama, many saw it for the star cast.

The actors have done a fantastic job managing the nuances that come with a romance with the serious matter of winemaking, working a large business, and taking care of relationships.

They've brought the bittersweet yearning and longing to a film that might have been dry without it.

While many dismissed the drama, the stellar acting, locations, and interwoven fates turned the focus of the film from a run-of-the-mill romance to one of kindness, morality, and decency.