Oregon wine pioneer dead at 69

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Pioneering Oregon winemaker David Lett, widely considered the father of Oregon's thriving pinot noir industry and a major force in winning worldwide respect for (the) state's wines, has died at age 69.

He died, surrounded by family, at his home in Dundee Thursday night from heart failure, said his son, Jason Lett.

Lett was the first to plant the pinot noir grape in Oregon's Willamette Valley, more than four decades ago. His was also the first to plant pinot gris in the United States, his family said. Since then, Oregon's pinot noir industry has boomed, earning a reputation for quality worldwide.

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