Both the Columbia River Gorge and the Hood River Valley are synonymous with orcharding, from cherries and chestnuts to apples and pears — the nation’s largest region of pear-growing, to be precise, producing over 50 percent of America’s Anjou pears and 11 percent of the Bartletts. Newtown Pippins also are revered from this region, along with juicy, bouncy cherries, like those found in The Gorge White House‘s Cherry cider.
Depart from Hood River proper on Oregon’s Highway 35 — better known as the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway — for about five miles and you’ll come face to face with the house itself, a 1908 historic Dutch colonial that has stood the test of time as a landmark on the picturesque route. The Kennedy family has been farming here for four generations, having launched small lot cider production in recent years.
Fresh from the farm, unctuous cherry juice is added to the apple base of the cherry cider for a tangy, sweet-tart sipper. Aromas are released from the draft-only offering as slightly medicinal, blowing off into flamboyant cherry character that is just as animated in your mouth, dominating the front-palate with zippy acidity, allowing apple to flesh out in the off-dry finish.