Nashi Orchards is located on Vashon Island in the South Puget Sound near Seattle, where it’s part of a community of committed producers of artisanal foods, wines and spirits. They create small batch, award-winning ciders and perry from their own Asian and European pear and Heirloom apple orchards.
Nashi Orchards was born in 2005 when Jim Gerlach and Cheryl Lubbert purchased a home on Vashon Island with an old, declining 300-tree Asian pear orchard planted in the 1970s. Even though neither Jim nor Cheryl had an agricultural background, they embarked on renovating the orchards. This care resulted in an abundance of fruit each year which Jim started fermenting out of necessity. People liked his Asian pear perry and Nashi Orchards was born.
More than a decade later, the orchards contain more than double the original trees featuring 15 varietals of Asian pears, numerous varieties of perry pears, cider and Spanish sidra apples. Jim’s philosophy is to use the best fruit, interesting yeasts, proven wine techniques and time to create world-class beverages. Jim’s ciders and perry have been recognized by the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry competition (GLINTCAP) as premium with Best-in-Class, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards every year that libations have been submitted.
In 2021, Nashi Orchards expanded its operations into Oregon’s Hood River with the addition of a 22-acre certified-organic orchard, also home to Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge, a successful bed and breakfast. The Lodge was fully updated and renovated into an eco-conscious, luxury bed-and-breakfast in 2022. Sakura is the Japanese word for "cherry blossom” meant to recognize and honor the properties Japanese history of growing cherries. Today, the orchards grow pears and cider apples. A perfect and seemingly serendipitous extension of the business’s origin.