One 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.
As 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.”
When 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.
This 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 Winery. 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.
But 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.