Oregon wines get free ride home on Alaska Air

By on July 23, 2013

Stoller Vineyards is in the Dundee HIlls of Oregon's Willamette Valley.

Visitors to Stoller Vineyards in the Dundee Hills and nearly 200 other wineries in Oregon will have tasting fees waived when they show their Alaska Airlines boarding pass. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

PORTLAND – The Oregon wine and travel industry are teaming up with Alaska Airlines to give Oregon wines a free ride home.

Beginning Sept. 10, Alaska will launch its “Oregon Wines Fly Free” program, in which up to a case of wine can be checked at no charge when leaving airports in Portland, Eugene, Medford, Redmond and Walla Walla.

“And, it doesn’t have to be a case from one winery,” Michelle Kaufmann, Oregon Wine Board assistant communications manager, told Great Northwest Wine. “It could be a mixed case from each of the producers the passenger visited on their trip.”

This is similar to a program launched a year ago called “Washington Wine Country Taste and Tote.” It provides a similar service for any flights leaving from Pasco, Walla Walla and Yakima.

The Oregon program ends Nov. 20. Washington’s Taste and Tote program will last through at least 2014.

Alaska Airlines has launched Oregon Wines Fly FreeDuring the program, visitors who show their Alaska Airlines boarding passes within a week of arriving in Oregon will have tasting fees waived at any of 180 participating wineries. This is similar to Washington’s Taste and Tote program, in which participating wineries from Yakima to Walla Walla waive tasting fees.

“Partnering with Alaska Airlines and Travel Oregon to help visitors to Oregon experience the beauty and bounty of our amazing wine country is a no-brainer,” said Tom Danowski, executive director of the Oregon Wine Board in Portland. “Increasingly, the customers of Oregon wine are the same customers being courted by Alaska Airlines and Travel Oregon.”

Clint Ostler with Alaska Airlines said the company is dedicated to developing the markets it serves.

“We’re pleased to support Oregon wineries while giving our customers one more reason to visit the state’s incredible wine regions,” he said.

Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon, said visitors to Oregon are inspired by the state’s scenic beauty to buy artisan and agricultural products.

“We know from a recent study that at least 43 percent of Oregon visitors said they are more likely to purchase Oregon products than before their trip,” he said. “Now, they can bring home not only memories but Oregon’s award-winning wines as well.”

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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