Oregon Wine Country WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Lovers of wine and rolling hills often think of California Wine Country for their destination wedding, but there’s an equally impressive, alternative option. Oregon has emerged into the limelight with world-class craft beer, but it was the Willamette Valley that put the state on the libation map. The 150-mile valley (known for its Pinot Noir) is home to more than 500 wineries and the misty, maritime climate is ideal for cool-weather grapes.
In the past, most wine lovers stayed in Portland and made the 45-minute drive for wine-tastings. However, The Allison Inn & Spa opened in the fall of 2009 and brought with it the area’s first upscale accommodations. The resort can accommodate weddings of up to 150 people. In addition to a vast collection of local wine, The Allison Inn & Spa specializes in exceptional cuisine. For this reason, all receptions are hosted indoors in order to guarantee the best service and food quality.
The family-owned resort was originally built as a legacy project for the community and supports local farmers, wineries and artists. Executive Chef Sunny Jin embraces this concept with an extensive Chef’s Garden that is visited and tended by local schools and community members. To sample the Allison’s bounty, enjoy a dinner at JORY and feast on seasonal veggies like parsnips, acorn squash and Brussels sprouts.
Any wine-tasting adventure must include a stop at Stoller Family Estate in the Dundee Hills. When the owner inherited the family farm, he put his viticulture experience to work. The winery’s south facing slopes and native Oak groves create a breathtaking backdrop. We asked Stoller’s Cellar Master, Marcus Mejia, what set the Willamette Valley apart from its California competitor. “We survive off of each other up here. It still has a very small-community feel to it. [Think] world-class Pinot Noir in a farm setting.” It’s the sense of community that makes the Willamette Valley an ideal place for your intimate destination wedding.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Mike Haverkate (1st, and 6th) and Allison Inn & Spa (2nd, 4th, 5th) and Andrea Johnson (3rd).
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