There’s an old adage that says, “plant apples for your children and pears for your grandchildren,” because of the incredible longevity of pear trees. And the pear trees on the Eden Valley Orchards property in Southern Oregon certainly live up to that maxim.l In 1885, a man named Joseph H. Stewart planted this unique pear orchard in Southern Oregon. Now, 135 years later, the pears from those same trees are making their way into a pear cider that is bottled and sold in the Pacific Northwest. And while that pear cider – affectionately known as Pear House – stands deliciously on its own, each sip also embodies the start of Eden Valley Orchards and the property’s prominent agricultural history in the Rogue River Valley…
Eden Valley Orchards, located on Voorhies Road just off of South Stage Road near Highway 99, is home to the Rogue Valley’s original commercial orchard. The historic property is best known as the home of the stately Voorhies Mansion as well as EdenVale Winery and Tasting Room.
Today, the winery is highly regarded for producing exceptional wines, thanks to the efforts of winemaker Ashley Campanella, who’s racked up numerous prestigious awards in recent years. Last year, Campanella also began producing hard pear ciders, using estate-grown fruit from trees first planted on the grounds in 1885.
Along with EdenVale Winery co-owner Anne Root, Ashley watched as national interest in hard pear ciders picked up, a trend that led to the creation of their modern-day “perry,” also called a “pear cider.” Like Campanella’s award-winning wines, her ciders also reflect the unique terroir of Eden Valley Orchards’ property…
Grapevines and fruit orchards are deeply rooted in the history of the Rogue Valley. EdenVale Winery, EdenVale Orchards, and Voorhies Mansion in Medford carry forward this rich history in everything they do. Not only that, they’re dedicated to bringing the legacy of vine and tree to fruition.
In addition to many award-winning wines, Winemaker Ashley Campanella has added Pear House Cider to the lineup—a 100 percent organic alcoholic pear cider.
When I visited Campanella at the Medford estate for the EdenVale label, she was planning the production of Pear House Cider and carefully selecting just the right glass for bottling and design for the label, which is screen-printed directly on the glass as opposed to standard paper labels. Amidst the vintages, aging in barrels was a ripe new idea to create a sparkling pear wine and put the signature pears to work in a new way…
From Jefferson Public Radio:
Early orchardist Joseph H. Stewart paid pioneer photographer-horticulturalist Peter Britt $5,400 in 1885 for a house and acreage in southwest Medford, Ore. It was a tidy sum at the time.
Stewart planted pears, apples, and almonds and by 1890 shipped the area’s first commercial pears in railroad cars to outside markets.
A Spanish-American War veteran, Col. Gordon Voorhies, bought Stewart’s Eden Valley Orchards in 1898, increased its acreage, and extensively remodeled the home. One hundred years later, Tim and Anne Root purchased the Voorhies mansion and 27 acres from a Medford orchardist. The Roots, long-standing Jackson County pear growers and founders of the Sabroso fruit processing company, refurbished the columned Voorhies mansion and planted wine grapes. They expanded the mansion to 8,000 square feet of living space, including seven bedrooms and bathrooms, six fireplaces and manicured landscaping.
Eden Valley Orchards today has vineyards, a winery, a tasting room, and a summer jazz series. The beautiful scenery has not changed much since the first shipment of pears; however, wine-sipping is now accompanied by the mellow sounds of jazz floating in the air.
Floods, earthquakes, fire, volcanic eruptions and the movement of oceans and continents. Sounds like the making of an apocalyptic movie. While not an upcoming summer blockbuster, it is the incredible formation of what we know as the Willamette Valley.
The story begins around 200 million years ago when the Pacific Plate started sliding beneath the North American Plate. Much of western Oregon and most of Washington didn’t exist, but over millions of years, the plate left behind shards of its surface, which was once a seabed. The shards continued to build becoming a marine sedimentary landmass. That land eventually became what we know today as Washington, western Oregon and the Willamette Valley — this movement and the development of new land continue to this day…