Pear wine? Are you sure you aren’t thinking of perry, pear cider or pear brandy? Yes! It is pretty rare.
Pear trees are known by many but not by all the people of the world. Why is that? Certainly climate has something to do with it. However, the cultivation of these delicious fruit trees has not been as prevelant as that of apples.
“The pear is a truly wondrous hardy fruit, widely grown in the temperate regions of the world, with varied size, shape, texture, and flavors. The long-lived trees attain great size and are relatively easy-to-grow. Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that world production of pear is only about one-quarter that of apple, indicating that the appreciation of pear has not attained theThe Pear in History, Literature, Popular Culture, and Art
universality or the depth of appeal of its better known relative. In many ways, the pear remains a problem fruit to growers and consumers.”
by Jules Janick
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Pears are known and still pear wine is rare? Yes.
“Gifts of the Gods” – Pears Through the Ages
A glimpse of pears rich history is shared by Jules Janick in his Purdue University publication “The Pear in History, Literature, Popular Culture and Art.” Certainly, these highlights show how for many years pears have been with many of us around the world.
“Gifts of the Gods” is how pears are first mentioned in literature. Did you know that they were mentioned in Homer’s often studied poem, The Odyssey?Seen as confirmation that pears were cultivated in Greece at the time of it being written 9th Century BC by most people.
Renaissance references for pears abound. Most note-able are those made by both Leonardo Da Vinci and Willam Shakespeare mentioned pears in their works. So this points to pears being cultivated in the 1500’s in England and Italy.
Isis, an Egyptian god, thought the pear was sacred. Purity, wisdom, longevity and justice are equated with pears in China. In Korea, nobility, grace and purity are associated with pears. Many Korean legends share that pears endow people with fertility, good fortune, health and wisdom. Consequently, all of this are mentioned in Mr. Janick’s article.
Symbolism of the pear is mentioned throughout many songs and poetry verses or displayed in art pieces. While most references do seem to point toward apples, pears are mentioned regularly from sources around the world. So, it seems that pears have a rarity to them which has been able to inspire artists and please many throughout the years. Therefore if you would like to learn more, please read Mr. Janick’s entire article, The Pear in History, Literature, Popular Culture and Art.”
Growing Pears and Crafting Wine
Growing pears is common practice in Europe. As is, crafting delicious alcoholic beverages from them whether a perry or brandy. However, in America it is not.
Commercially growing pears is not an easy proposition. It takes four to five years to reach orchard profitability based on crop levels. However, handling the delicate fruit and processing it correctly can prove challenging also.
Universally mentioned in the process of crafting either perry, brandy or wine from pears is mentioned how much skill and knowledge it requires to do well. Because they are a delicate fruit, optimum flavors are hard to attain without being exact in the processes. Therefore, it is evident that pears require skill to craft into delicious alcoholic beverages.
In fact, it is rare to find many references to pear wine in many comprehensive wine books! In fact, some may not even know it exists.
Hailing their winery’s history, the Mount Hood Winery adorns their pear wine with this 1920’s era design. So, the Bickford family hired an artist to create their lovely label for their annual delicious passion project.
Everyone we have taken to Mt. Hood Winery’s tasting room raves about their wine and always particularly mention their pear wine for years later. Typically, our friends try it to indulge us and then … they are so surprised with the light crisp delicious taste.
Prior to America’s Prohibition period, many families crafted fruit wines of many different fruits. The skills required to craft this wine seemed to be lost during Prohibition as many different family run wineries, breweries and distilleries disappeared with their talents. Therefore, Mt. Hood Winery’s Pear Wine is a rare gem.
In short, the skill required to craft their pear wine is a family treasure that they share beautifully! Certainly, it is not surprising that a winery and family with such dedication were named Oregon’s Winery of the Year in 2016, is it? Proudly our CKJY Exports team works with them to export their beautiful wines.
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Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our “retired” USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life’s path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.