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Sideways author releases Pinot Noir

Rex Pickett, author of popular wine-themed novel Sideways, which inspired the Oscar winning movie of the same name, has released his first Pinot Noir onto the market.

Pinot for Pickett – Rex has released his first wine onto the market
Pinot for Pickett – Rex has released his first wine onto the market

Dubbed Ne Plus Ultra, meaning “the highest point” in Latin, the 2011 Pinot Noir hails from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

For Pickett, it could only ever have been Pinot – his protagonist Miles in Sideways is obsessed with the temperamental grape variety, waxing lyrical about its delicate beauty throughout the book.

“When I decided to produce my own wine, I knew immediately it would be a Pinot Noir, the grape variety so rhapsodically celebrated in Sideways,” Pickett said.

Ne Plus Ultra Pinot Noir 2011
Ne Plus Ultra Pinot Noir 2011

“I looked to the Willamette, home to some of the worlds finest Pinot, and the stage on which the misadventures of Miles and Jack continue my second book Vertical,” he added.

The 13% abv wine is made from grapes grown at high altitude on Laurelwood soils at Twelve Oaks Estate Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.

Pickett has collaborated with Oregon winemakers Drew Voit and Darcy Pendergrass on the project.

Previously winemaker at Shea Wine Cellars in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, Voit now consults for a number of wineries in the Willamette Valley and is launching a custom winemaking operation for boutique wine brands.

Pendergrass meanwhile, is the head winemaker for Amity Vineyards

Just 195 cases of the inaugural 2011 vintage were produced and are being sold through Quigley Fine Wines at US$45 a bottle.

Pickett is currently working on a third novel in the Sideways series, to be set in Chile.

“Events will conspire to take Miles and Jack to Chile. It will be a journey and wine will play a part, but I don’t know what that journey is yet,” Pickett admitted.

In addition to Sideways III, Pickett is also pushing director of the Sideways film, Alexander Payne, for a sequel based on his second novel Vertical, set in Oregon during the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration.

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