Are you ready for Sideways Pinot Noir? Bill Hatcher of A to Z Wine Works in Oregon had not even seen the Oscar-winning movie that's focused on California Pinot Noir when he grabbed the trademark last month. He's not even sure there's going to be a wine, but he said he has the support of Alexander Payne, the film's director, and Rex Pickett, who wrote the book.
"We live in the Willamette Valley," said Hatcher, who markets Pinot Noir with his winemaking partners Sam Tannahill and Cheryl Francis. "It takes a while for movies to get here. When the 12th person asked me if I'd seen the movie, I called my attorney see if the name was taken. I couldn't believe there weren't 50 people of ahead of me."
Hatcher's first move was to contact Payne, reasoning that he didn't want to start anything that would cause difficulties.
A to Z Wine Works makes négociant-style blends from purchased Oregon wines, including Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, and sells them for $12 to $18. Hatcher's original idea was to blend a similar wine from California's Central Coast, but he said, "We couldn't find any Pinot to buy there."
Hatcher said he considered making a Sideways Syrah, but in telephone conversations, both Payne and Pickett liked the idea of an Oregon Pinot Noir.
"We're not even going to start blending our wines for A to Z until June," Hatcher added. "We'll see what we might put together for a Sideways wine that would be different from ours."
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