Cider has been a growing presence in restaurants and on grocery shelves, a potion sitting at the nexus where artisanal beverages meet the farm-to-table movement. Curiously, Portland and the Willamette Valley have been the center of the cider world over the past decade — not the gentle valleys and slopes around Hood River synonymous with heirloom orchards. All that is changing, and quickly, as a trove of new cideries — nine established with more on the way — have cropped up in and around the Hood River Valley.
Led by orchardists whose families have been cultivating apples, pears and cherries for generations, these new cideries are showcasing the bright, farm-fresh flavors of tree-ripened fruit. The cider makers see their product as a natural extension of their long connection to the land, and they have formed a collegial, supportive network. If you’re in the Hood River Valley, look them up and stop in for a glass.
Hit up Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar for lunch or dinner. Their wood fire pizzas and great selection of local brews are the perfect way to end the day, located right on the Columbia River. Pet-friendly AND outdoor seating too! Be sure to try the award winning “Country Girl Cherry” featuring local Oregon cherries, chorizo sausage, goat cheese, shredded mozzarella & marinara.