Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge – Mount Hood, Oregon

Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge – Mount Hood, Oregon

Three hours southeast of Tacoma, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, bountiful orchards produce fruit used to craft an array of European-style hard ciders. Tasting rooms scattered throughout the Hood River valley welcome visitors to sample ciders made from locally-grown apples, pears, cherries and quince.

Reminiscent of an Italian agriturismo – a farm that also provides accommodations to visitors – the five-room Sakura Ridge Farm & Lodge provides a luxury stay on a 22-acre working farm, surrounded by 4,000 pear and apple trees, gardens and berry patches. Sheep roam the hillsides, and resident chickens lay fresh eggs.

Operated for years as a modest log cabin-style B&B, the property took on new life when the owners of Vashon Island-based Nashi Orchards began looking for property in Oregon to expand their apple and perry (pear) cider business.

In 2005, Jim Gerlach and Cheryl Lubbert bought a home on the island designed in the tradition of a 17th century Japanese country estate. It happened to come with a declining 300-tree Asian pear orchard. Neither had an agricultural background, but they set about renovating the orchards. Jim started fermenting the fruit. People loved his Asian perry, and Nashi Orchards was born.

This time around, while looking for property in Oregon, they acquired an orchard that just happened to come with a lodge. Carrying out their love for Japanese design, they embarked on renovations, incorporating stone soaking tubs, fireplaces, cork floors, private balconies and long log-style porches with views of Mount Hood.

A private chef takes orders in advance from guests to produce breakfast from organic ingredients grown or raised on the farm or from a local co-op. Appearing on the dining table might be buttermilk biscuits with homemade blackberry jam, chia seed pudding or Persian-inspired herbed frittatas. See Sakura Ridge, a wonderful Hood River bed & breakfast.

Carol Pucci
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