Hermit Woods and the Lake Winnipesaukee Association working together to make the Lakes Region a better place.

Lake Winnipesaukee Association toasts successful Partnership-Daily Sun-12-2017-web

With the successful launch of our Winnipesaukee Rosé this year, we have been able to raise over $3,400 for the Lake Winnipesaukee Association and the protection of our lakes. We are very please to support such and important and wonderful organization.


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Shackett’s Brewing Company’s beer now avaiable at Hermit Woods

shackett's beersHermit Woods Winery now has Shackett’s Brewing Company’s Newfound Nutbrown Ale on tap in our tasting room deli.  With a 5.4% ABV, this beer is a malt-forward, sweet, Southern English brown ale. Northern Brewer and Fuggle hops provide a relatively low 24 IBU.

We are excited to be one of the few places outside of Shackett’s tasting room in Bristol, NH that carries Shackett’s beer. We have found John Shackett’s beers to be some of the finest brews in the Lakes Region.

If you have not had a chance to try their beer, please visit us at Hermit Woods or visit their brewery.

Shackett’s Brewing Company
30 Lake St, Bristol

They are open on Friday and Saturdays Noon to 6:00 and Sundays Noon to 4:00. Their phone number is

Shackett's BreweryShackett's Brewing Company Logo Shackett's Beer


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Hermit Woods Petite Blue: Food & Wine Magazine, Favorite Craft Beverage in NH


In the November issue of Food & Wine Magazine, Ray Isle, Wine Editor, identified his favorite craft beverages in each of the 50 states. Hermit Woods Petite Blue was his favorite craft beverage in New Hampshire.

This is not Petite Blue’s first brush with fame. In 2014, after having sampled Hermit Woods Petite Blue at a Wine event in New York, NY, Ray Isle shared Petite Blue with Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today Show. It proved to be one of their favorites as well.

This is also not the first time Hermit Woods has been recognized by Food & Wine Magazine. Earlier this year, Hermit Woods learned that Food & Wine Magazine included Hermit Woods Winery as one of America’s top 500 wineries in their 2017 food and wine guide. This is no small feat for a local NH winery. Hermit Woods is the first NH winery ever to be included on the list and one of only two in all of New England.

I spoke with Ken Hardcastle and Bob Manley, two of Hermit Woods’ founders and they had this to say; Bob “We can’t begin to express how proud we are to be recognized by such an important national wine magazine. We have worked very hard over the past 7 years to make Hermit Woods the best it can be, and it’s wonderful to have that work recognized.” Ken: “It has been my goal since we opened, above all else, to craft the best wine we possibly can, and every year I strive to improve upon it. As Bob said, I am very proud to have that work recognized.”

Hermit Woods Petite Blue is in good company on the Food & Wine list. Also included are Ravines Wine Cellars in NY, Alchemist in Vermont, Trillium Brewery in MA, and Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, just to name a few. You can view the complete list at http://www.foodandwine.com/wine/american-tap#alaska–port-chilkoot-distillery-

Food and Wine Article Food & Wine-Listing Food & Wine Cover


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Hermit Woods Wine wins out over world class grape wines

Hermit Woods_Judgment_of_New_Hampshire-2017-002
On Thursday, October 26th, Hermit Woods Winery conducted a blind tasting of six wines, putting their 2015 Hermitage up against five world-class grape wines from France, Spain, Australia, and California. Much to Hermit Woods delight, Hermitage won the night. They dubbed this night the Judgment of New Hampshire in reference to the seminal day in 1976 known as the Judgement of Paris when California wines were judged in a blind tasting to be superior to French wines. 

Hermit Woods_Judgment_of_New_Hampshire-2017-011Fifteen guests attended and were given a thirty minute class in wine appreciation and scoring, and then provided with the American Wine Society 20 point scorecard and guidelines. Each wine was served in a numbered carafe and served one at a time. Guests were given five to ten minutes to evaluate each wine and score them on the provided scorecards. Scorecards were gathered and the results tallied.

Hermit Woods_Judgment_of_New_Hampshire-2017-003The 2015 Hermitage was definitely a favorite, with eight of the 15 guests scoring the 2015 Hermitage the highest of out the six wines. And using the American Wine Society methodology, the 2015 Hermitage tied for second place with an overall score of 203 out of 300 versus a score of 213 for the 2014 Michael David Syrah from California. Lastly, when asked to identify the wine that was not made from grapes, only eight out of fifteen guests correctly identified Hermitage. The following are the actual results of the blind tasting:

Wine Region Price Judgement of NH (overall score) Sored Highest Overall Identified as none grape
2013 Alto Moncayo/Veraton Garnacha Spain $24.00 179 0 0
2013 Joel Gott Grenache California $17.00 203 2 1
2015 Hermit Woods Hermitage New Hampshire $36.00 203 8 8
2014 Louise Dubois Ma Belle Chateauneuf-du-Pape France $29.00 198 2 2
2013 Mclaren Vale Shiraz-The Footbolt Australia $22.00 197 1 0
2014 Michael David Syrah- 6th Sense California $15.00 213 7 3

Hermit Woods did not go into this event completely blind. In 2016 a similar event was conducted in an informal manner with six trained wine professionals in Virginia, with similar results.
Bob Manley, one of the founding partners at Hermit Woods had this to say: “We were of course very excited about the results of our tasting; fruit wine very often does not get the same respect as classic grape wines, and the results clearly indicate that a well-crafted fruit wine can hold its own.” He went on to say “of course we also recognize that this event was done in fun and was not conducted by trained wine judges. Nonetheless, the results speak volumes.”

Hermit Woods hopes to someday hold a similar event on a much grander scale in NY or Boston, with trained wine professionals in a public forum, settling once and for all that a non-grape fruit wine crafted in New Hampshire can hold up to the classic grape wines of the world.

Hermit Woods Winery was included in the 2017 Food & Wine guide as one of the 500 best wineries in America, and their Petite Blue was selected by Ray Isle, Wine Editor for Food and Wine, as his favorite craft beverage in New Hampshire.

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Petite Blue, Food & Wine Magazine’s choice for best craft beverage in NH!

If you have not picked up the November 2017 issue of Food & Wine Magazine. Ray Isle, Wine Editor of Food & Wine Magazine, picked his favorite craft beverages for each of the 50 states. Hermit Woods is very proud to have our Petite Blue picked as the best craft beverage in New Hampshire. See below for the story and some of the other favorite craft beverages of the North East. We are in good company.

Food & Wine CoverFood and Wine Article Food & Wine-Listing


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Rosé All Day

Hermit Woods is pleased to present three recently released Rosés just in time for summer. Never before have all three of these wines been available at one time. We will be tasting at least two of them all summer long or until they are sold out. Come on in and give them a try.

winnipesaukee_rose-april-2017-004a2016 Winnipesaukee Rosé     $24.95 (750 ml) Club Price $19.96 A blend of two classic New England fruits: cranberries and apples in this rich, sweet and tangy wine.  Made with whole organic cranberries, locally sourced heirloom Kingston Black apples, and fresh-pressed heirloom cider.  Enjoy this wine chilled on its own or with roast turkey, smoked cheese, or vinaigrette salad. 10% of the sale of this wine goes to support the Lake Winnipesaukee Association. Drink 2017-2019

Strawberry Rhubarb-2015-0152016 Strawberry Rhubarb $24.95 (750 ml) Club Price $19.96. Whole strawberries, wild low bush blueberries, and a touch of whole rhubarb fermented together into a  surprisingly light and refreshing wine with a mouthwatering tang and lingering dryness.  Enjoy this medium dry wine with salads and lighter fare.  Drink 2017-2019.




Hermit Woods Wine Crabapple

2016 Heirloom Crabapple    $22.95 (750 ml) Club Price $18.36 (Limit one case per customer per visit) Considered our signature wine, this award-winning wine is made from whole heirloom Dolgo crabapples. This medium sweetness, tangy wine is a great aperitif and also an excellent partner with a wide variety of foods, including spicy dishes, light meals, and roast turkey. Serve well chilled or even over ice. Drink 2017-2019



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Hermit Woods is featured on “East Coast Wineries” blog by Carlo DeVito

If you have any interest in learning about east coast wineries and distilleries, you need to follow the writings of Carlo DeVito. Carlo is a lifelong publishing executive who has traveled the wine regions of the world. He is the author of 15 books about dogs, sports, wine, and spirits.

But most importantly, Carlo has been scouring the east coast for years learning and writing about all things craft wine, and spirits. Most recently, Carlo has written about his experience with Hermit Woods Winery, a fun and witty piece that really gets to the heart of what we are all about. You can read Carlo’s piece about Hermit Woods here:

“Hermit Woods Winery- They Are Having Too Much Fun…and So Will You!”

You will also learn about some of his many other discoveries throughout the east on his blog.


When Carlo is not writing about wines, and spirits, you can likely find him at his own winery, Hudson Chatham Winery, in upstate NY. Carlo is also the author of the Blog Hudson River Valley Wineries.


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Take a ride on the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad this Memorial Day Weekend!

We, of course, hope you will visit Hermit Woods on this Memorial Day, however, if you are looking for other things to do, there are many. One rather special adventure might be to check out the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, just a half mile from our door. This is their opening weekend.  For all our military veterans, you ride for free all weekend. winnipesaukee railroad


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Hermit Woods partners with a Meredith Artist and the Lake Winnipesaukee Association to raise awareness and funds

winnipesaukee_rose_release-004One of the most important resources in the winemaking process is water, so when Hermit Woods Winery learned that the Lake Winnipesaukee Association was dedicated to protecting Lake Winnipesaukee’s water quality and natural resources they wanted to help.

Ken Hardcastle, Hermit Woods Winemaker, understands the importance of our water resources better than most. Before starting Hermit Woods Winery, Ken was a geologist working for a local firm, Emery & Garrett Groundwater, for over 25 years helping organizations and municipalities up and down the eastern seaboard find and manage their water needs. Now, as the Hermit Woods winemaker, Ken values our water resources more than ever.

ken-hardcastle-smAs Ken explains, “Water is one of our most important resources in the making of wine. Not only is it used extensively in the sanitation process, it is often used as an ingredient. We can’t make wine without it, and we can’t make great wine without great water. Thanks to organizations like the Lake Winnipesaukee Association, we have great water here in Meredith.”

winnipesaukee_rose-april-2017-004aWhen Pat Tarpey, Executive Director of the Lake Winnipesaukee Association, introduced herself to Bob, Ken, and Chuck, Hermit Woods founders, and let them know the important role her organization plays in the protection of their water, they wanted to do something to help. That is when the idea for a Lake Winnipesaukee Rosé was born.

Timing is everything. It was around the same time that Ken Hardcastle was beginning production of Hermit Woods’ very first cranberry apple wine that Pat came knocking, and their new summer rosé needed a name and all new packaging. Hermit Woods decided to dedicate their new wine to helping The Lake Winnipesaukee Association raise awareness and funds to continue the good work they are doing.

Stephen HodeckerThis is where Stephen Hodecker, a Meredith Artist, comes in. Pat and Bob reached out to Stephen and asked him to consider donating the use of one of his paintings for their new rosé. Without hesitation, Stephen generously offered his work. A label was designed, a new bottle was selected, and the package was complete. On April 12th, the wine was bottled and labeled, creating a whole new wine and look for Hermit Woods Stephen Hodecker Art002Winery. Hermit Woods has committed to donating 10% of the profits on this wine to help fund the Lake Winnipesaukee Association. Hermit Woods Co-founder Bob Manley: “We are so excited about this partnership. It’s not only a great way for us to help raise the funds this organization needs to do the good work they do, but the distribution of our wine will also help raise awareness of the organization across the State. I am so thankful Pat found us when she did.”

Hermit Woods will officially release the new Winnipesaukee Rosé on April 29 to their 350 club members.  The Winery produced 180 cases, which can be found for sale in the Winery’s Tasting Room as well as in stores across NH and in the NH State Liquor Stores.

winnipesaukee_rose-april-2017-008But that is only where the story begins. Bob, Pat, and Stephen are now working with the Lake Winnipesaukee Association Board of Directors to plan an official release party/fundraiser to help raise further awareness and funds for the organization. Planning is in the early stages, and we hope to put something together by June. Pat Tarpy: “I cannot express our appreciation enough for the enthusiasm and generosity with which Hermit Woods and Stephen Hodecker have responded to this endeavor.  The label is beautiful, the wine light and refreshing – like a summer day on the lake. We are very excited about this partnership, and look forward to the opportunity to express our gratitude to Hermit Woods and Stephen Hodecker publicly at the launch party.”

The Lake Winnipesaukee Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Big Lake’s water quality and natural resources through monitoring, education, stewardship, and science-guided approaches for lake management. LWA’s office is located at 103 Main St., Suite 3, Meredith, NH.


Stephen Hodecker was born in Manchester, Connecticut in 1956. He studied at the University of New Hampshire under John Hatch and Sigmund Abeles and at Fortman Studios in Florence, Italy. His landscape work in watercolor, oil and egg tempera include rural New Hampshire and coastal Maine, where he has painted on Monhegan Island for over 30 years. Hodecker has also painted extensively in Ireland and Scotland. He is represented by the Dowling Walsh Gallery and Ingram Fine Art. Stephen has lived in Meredith since 1968 and has been a working painter and sculptor in the community for over 40 years, regularly contributing his work to non-profit organizations and causes including The Lakes Region Conservation Trust, CASA and The Trust for Public Lands.



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Meredith, one of 8 Beautiful Little Lake Towns Across America as chosen by FlipKey.


Meredith New Hampshire

A lazy lakeside getaway boasts all the fun of a tropical beach vacation… without the sting of saltwater in your eyes, crabs pinching at your toes, and seagulls nabbing your snacks.

From a sleepy town perched high in the Rockies to a classic New England escape, we’ve uncovered eight of America’s most beautiful little lake towns. One thing’s for sure: overdone beach trips will be a distant memory after visiting these glorious destinations. Which one will be your perfect for your next getaway?

Finding it difficult to narrow down which lake is for you? Meredith is located in the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and a getaway here puts vacationers a short drive to Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Winnisquam, Squam Lake and more. Whether you choose a condo right on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee or a secluded home with private beach access, Meredith promises serenity and outdoor adventure. Toast to a blissful vacation at a local winery, conquer the surrounding White Mountains on foot, or just unplug for awhile. It’s up to you!

Eat: Lago

Play: Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroads

See: Hermit Woods Winery

See all Meredith vacation rentals

Click here to read the whole story and learn about the other great lakefront towns in America!


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