Local cidery winning awards for specialty ciders made from pears

APPLEGATE VALLEY, Ore.– Jeremy Hall and Erin Chaparo opened Blossom Barn Cidery last March, but they have been making cider as a hobby for years.

Chaparo is a former professor at the University of Oregon and when they lived in Eugene, they started making perrys using the pear tree in their backyard.

Chaparo said, “I think we’re the only cidery in the state of Oregon that specializes in perrys in particular, which are ciders made from 90% or more pear juice.”

Blossom Barn is located on Hall’s family farm on Kubli Road and has seven wineries within two miles of it.

“When we came here to the applegate valley, we were trying to figure out what’s something different that we could offer,” Chaparo said, “there’s a lot of really beautiful wineries and we didn’t really want to compete with that but we wanted to add something to the value of this area.”

All of the pears are grown on one of the 500 pear trees on the farm and they are pressed just a couple hundred feet away at the cidery.

Part of what sets perrys apart from apple ciders is the type of sugar in pears, which is unfermentable and can make perrys sweeter.

“We wanted to do something a little different.” Hall said, “so you ferment an apple juice completely to dry, and it is dry, no residual sugar, it will dry your mouth out. But with perry, there’s no residual sugar but that sorbitol gives it a soft, delicate sweetness.”

Blossom Barn has won a number of awards, including a silver medal at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition.

Hall and Chaparo sid the local response has also been overwhelmingly positive.

“A lot of people grew up setting smudge pots in orchards, or picking fruit, or love pears and hate to see the pears going away,” Hall said, “so having the opportunity to make something out of something that a lot of people love and cherish has been really strong and positive.”

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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