Getting In Touch With Oregon Wine Country

At first glance, The Allison Inn and Spa is a luxury resort smack dab in the middle of Oregon's wine country,but it has way more than that. The Allison goes the extra mile to showcase the Willamette Valley's wine offerings. From partnerships with local vintners to an extensive wine list, wine culture thrives at this Newberg, Oregon destination.

"Our relationship with the vintners has become much stronger over time," says managing director of The Allison, Pierre Zreik. "In addition to a deeper friendship, we see each other as partners and a source of support to one another. We share ideas and look for opportunities to work together with a common goal of providing our guests with an exceptional experience at The Allison and the entire region. We consider ourselves to be partners on the same team working together to create great experiences and memories for our guests."

If you need proof, just ask Ryan Harris, president of Domaine Serene Winery in Dayton, Oregon. Harris started working at the vineyard for about a year-and-a-half ago and said one of the very first people he met was Zreik.

"It was very clear right off the bat talking to him that we had like-minded thoughts the need for luxury accommodation," Harris says.

Their partnership led to the dream package for every wine lover out there: a VIP Lodging Package with Wines by Domaine Serene. The list of amenities is long, but highlights include lodging at The Allison, a private winery tour, six wines from the vineyard to take home, tasting and dinner with wine pairing at Domaine Serene, and even a helicopter tour of the vineyard. If that doesn't sound luxurious to you, I'm not sure what would.

"The Allison Hotel has been sorely needed in the valley to create that luxury experience for our guests," Harris says.

But The Allison's reach has also been important to promoting not only wine but Willamette Valley tourism too.

"It's created more of a destination than a day trip," says Harris of the property. "In the past, most people would come to Portland, and they would day trip to wine country. But now we're seeing a lot more people seeking out the Willamette Valley as a luxury wine destination and a lot of them are saying at The Allison."

Those key relationships also benefit hotel guests, too.

"I partner with the best wine makers I know," says Wine Director Ken Bolick. "The vintners that make the best wine very often have the best vineyard, winery and business practices. To make great wine you have to love what you do and work very hard at it. It is easy to want to do business with people like that."

The Allison's dedication to wine is evident throughout the hotel. The Spa even offers a "pinotherapy" treatment. The Allison bottles its own wine, Austin Knoll. If you're ever staying at the hotel, be sure to ask the concierge about tastings. The Allison can arrange them at your request and even has some discount or complimentary tastings to local wineries. And at 30 pages, the wine list is impressive. The list has been designed to showcase the best Willamette Valley wines in addition to stellar bottles from all over the globeā€”and is yet another example of the Inn's absolute devotion to wine. [pullquote:right]

"Wine culture is the foundation of The Allison. It is ingrained in every aspect of our resort from our Celebrity Wine-Tender events every Thursday [the hotel invites a vintner to come in and pour their goods] and award-winning wine list to our strong friendships with local wineries and dedication to offering an incredible guest experience while retaining the informal charm and hospitable culture the Valley is known for," says Bolick. "We are proud to call the Willamette Valley home."

Teresa K. Tobat is a writer and editor based out the Washington, D.C. area. View her website at Follow her tweets @ttobat88.