Feb 21, 2017

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Cuvée Stroll at The Allison Inn & Spa: Taste-Test the Region’s Absolute Best

Last February, while unconditionally relishing in every step and sip of a one-on-one tour and tasting of the fairly new and undeniably unmatched Gran Moraine winery (located in the Willamette Valley’s Yamill-Carlton AVA), General Manager and winemaker extraordinaire Eugenia Keegan surprised me with an extra ticket for the upcoming (sold-out) Oregon Chardonnay Celebration.  As a die-hard Oregon Chardonnay enthusiast, I was thankful to the moon and back to Eugenia for so kindly gifting me with a ticket to an event that is truly sublime to my Chardonnay-loving palate.

The stunning Gran Moraine

Formerly known as the Oregon Chardonnay Symposium, Stoller Family Estate hosted the event annually since its inception.  But when attendance and population grew as if Chardonnay fanatics had discovered liquid gold, original founders Erica Landon (Walter Scott Wines) and Paul Durant (Durant Vineyards) passed the torch to the well-known and heavily applauded organizers of IPNC.  The named changed from Symposium to Celebration, and the venue was moved to Oregon wine country’s most exquisite lodging of all: The Allison Inn & Spa  – where not only more Chardonnay devotees could be accommodated, but devotees traveling from around the globe, as well.

The dreamy rooms at The Allison Inn & Spa are unparalleled.

Because it’s about a two hour drive from Eugene (where I live) to Newberg, Oregon, where The Allison Inn & Spa is located, I would need to find lodging for Saturday night since the Celebration is an all-day event.  With dreamy visions of once again lodging at the truly exquisite Allison Inn and Spa, I reminisced while yearning to have the chance to stay just a single night in one of their flawlessly appointed rooms.  I decided it was worth a try to see if there were any available rooms, knowing that my chances were extremely slim.

The Nautilus-inspired stairwell at the Allison is used more than the elevator because it offers 180 degree views of the Valley and distant Coastal foothills. This view reminded me that my luck had brought me full-circle.

As if my good-luck with meeting the kind and generous Eugenia Keegan at Gran Moraine had followed me over the rolling, vineyard hills to Newberg, Managing Director of the Allison Inn & Spa, Pierre Zriek, answered my call.  He not only informed me that a room would be available for me on Saturday, but Friday was available, too, in case I’d like to attend their annual pop-up marketplace, Cuvée Stroll.

Cuvée Stroll?  Count me in.

Red Hills Market is my favorite market on the planet. Yes, I savored every single bite of this gem.

Cuvée Stroll was assembled inside one the Allison’s ballrooms, spilling out into the ballroom foyer where the entrance to the event was set up.  Upon entering, I received a take-home (included in the cost) Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glass stamped with the ¡Salud! logo, meaning this particular event was organized to benefit the truly wonderful ¡Salud! – best described by my colleague and good friend, Mary Cressler of Vindulge, in her article about the ¡Salud! 25th Anniversary.

My commemorative Riedel glass – proceeds went to a stellar organization.

With my glass in hand, I was ready to discover and experience Cuvée Stroll.  I recognized many of the signs that identified each of the vendor’s tables filled with alluring, mouthwatering foods and wines: Red Hills Market, Jacobsen Salt Co., Bee Local, Republic of Jam, Salt & Straw, Bergström Wines, Brittan Vineyards, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Trisaetum and Ponzi Vineyard – to name just a few.  Life is real good when one hand is gripping the stem of a Riedel wine glass that’s been enriched with a splash of Trisaetum Chardonnay while the other hand is occupied by Red Hills Market’s Grougeres stuffed with Bacon Lardons, Peanut Butter, Apple and Fennel Fronds.

Salt & Straw totally stole my heart. There is no better ice cream on earth.

Cuvée Stroll offers its attendees an incredible opportunity to sample food and wine crafted by some of Oregon’s most inspirational sustainable farmers, artisan winemakers, talented chefs and spirited entrepreneurs – while never needing to leave The Allison’s luxuriously relaxing atmosphere.

You bet I did! I did not go home without making a purchase at the Stroll. Another great feature to this event is that purchases can be made when you discover something you cannot live without. Like this salt.

The 2017 Cuvée Stroll at The Allison takes place Friday, February 24 from 5 -7:30 pm.  There will be 15 wineries and 15 artisan food purveyors, where guests can taste-test the region’s absolute best.  Proceeds this year benefit the truly exciting Yamhill Enrichment Society (YES).  Read about YES here.  Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.  You know you want to go.  This event is truly a gem of Oregon’s breathtaking wine country – don’t let it slip by without your name being on the guest list!

I started the night with a sample of the Trisaetum 2014 Chardonnay. Oh My Goodness.

Face Rock Creamery Cheddar also went home with me.

Could Salt & Straw be any more divine? Simply not.

After trying the amazing slider – could I leave without anything from Even Pull Farm? No. No I could not. I love flowers, too.

Always say yes to Ponzi.

View of The Allison’s vineyards from my room’s window seat. It’s not easy leaving this haven.













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