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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2017 Best of New Hampshire Vote is Now Open!


We would really appreciate your vote on question 37!

You must vote for at least 10 of your favorite business for your ballot to count. Please show some love to your favorite local businesses and let the world know about them! Thank you.

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Hippo Press: Celebrate With Bubbles

Hermit Woods Winery was featured in a wonderful story about Champagne in the Hippo by Angie Sykeny this week. Angie did an excellent job demystifying this wonderful beverage enjoyed by so many on special occasions throughout the year, but probably not nearly as much as will be enjoyed on New Years Eve.

hippo-bubbles-dec-2016-1 hippo-bubbles-dec-2016-2 hippo-bubbles-dec-2016-3 hippo-bubbles-dec-2016-4


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Hermit Woods Makes Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best 500 Wineries” List for 2017


Hermit Woods Winery Named One of Two in New England to Make Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best 500 Wineries” List for 2017

Meredith, NH–“What happens when you combine local ingredients – like berries, flowers and honey – with traditional winemaking techniques like fermentation until dry, then give them extended barrel aging? If you are the three partners in this venture, you have a hit on your hands…” Editor of Food & Wine Magazine.

Food & Wine has included Hermit Woods Winery on its list of Best 500 Wineries in America in its 2017 Wine Guide. Hermit Woods is the only winery in New Hampshire, one of only two in New England, and one of only 20 wineries in all of the Northeast – including NY, PA, and NJ – to be included on this list.

Hermit Woods is on the list alongside some of the country’s most prestigious wineries, including Napa Valley’s Caymus Vineyards, who helped put California on the map in the early 70’s;  Harlan Estates; Opus One; Robert Mondavi; and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, famous for winning the “Judgement of Paris Tasting” in 1976 with their Cabernet Sauvignon. Also on the list are New York’s well-known Bedell Cellars, Dr. Konstantin Frank Cellars, and Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, arguably one of the Northeast’s most recognized brands.

But what is most notable about Hermit Woods Winery’s inclusion on the list is the fact that it may be the only winery on the list not producing wine from grapes. Hermit Woods has developed its reputation for crafting classically styled, often barrel aged wines from the fruit that is native to New England.

Partner and Vintner Ken Hardcastle explains it this way, “Having developed a love for some of the world’s finest wines from Burgundy and other classic wine regions of the world, we are exploring the depth and character that can be developed from our local fruits and the terroir that exists here in our part of the world.  This is where we live, so we craft wine from the fruits that grow best here.” Ken’s approach is a significant departure from the more common sweet fruit wine that the Northeast is better known for.

Hermit Woods first came to the attention of Food & Wine when its Wine Editor, Ray Isle, had a chance to sample the Hermit Woods Petite Blue Reserve, a wild blueberry wine crafted in the style of a Burgundy. Shortly thereafter, Ray asked Hermit Woods if it would mind if he shared its Petite Blue with Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today show.

In the few short years, just six, since Hermit Woods was founded, many of the Hermit Woods wines have won medals at some of the East’s most notable wine competitions, most recently taking home several medals, including a tie for “Best Mead”, at “Drink Outside the Grape,” a Virginia-based wine competition for fruit wine, cider and mead.

Bob Manley, one of Hermit Woods’ three partners had this to say, ”All of us here at Hermit Woods are so proud to be given this honor. We have worked very hard over the past six years to ken-chuck-bob-2-webproduce the finest quality wines that we can produce, the inclusion of our winery on this list validates all our hard work.”

Bob Manley wanted to thank the many Hermit Woods guests who have gone on this journey with them and contributed to  getting the word out about the exciting things that Hermit Woods is doing here in Meredith. “Without them, we would not have achieved this milestone,” says Bob.

Founded in 2011, Hermit Woods Winery is a small boutique winery producing fruit wine, meads, and ciders. “Our wines and ciders are local (as much as possible), vegan (except the honey wines), gluten free, raw, and made from non-certified but mostly organic fruit. We always use whole fruit, never use heat, and always use gentle hand processing. Our wines, meads, and ciders are made with minimal to no chemical adjustments or additions and are styled after the classic dry European grape wines”, explains Hardcastle. Hermit Woods sees over 8,000 visitors at its tasting room every year, and its wines are available throughout New Hampshire and direct to consumer in 37 states.

Hermit Woods is located at 72 Main Street in Meredith NH, just a stone’s throw away from New Hampshire’s famous Lake Winnipesaukee. The winery is open seven days a week in the summer and fall and five days a week in the winter and spring. Wine tastings are offered during all open hours, while tours are available on weekends or by appointment. Visit them at www.hermitwoods.com to learn more.



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Hermit Woods Welcomes Club Members for Holiday Gathering


Thank you to all those who were able to join us for our 2016 Club Member Holiday Gathering. Ken, Chuck, Jenn and I had a wonderful time sharing our wine and stories with you and getting to know everyone. For those of you who were not able to make it, we wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

You can view a photo gallery of all the images from the evening here.

Wines served at this event are available for club member purchase in very limited supply. If you have an interest in purchasing these wines, please inquire at the tasting room.

Happy Holidays!








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Ken Hardcastle, Winemaker, to help design and teach new Fermentation Certification program

brewing-newHermit Woods Winery is pleased to announce that their vintner, Ken Hardcastle, Ph.D., will be helping to design and teach a portion of a brand new fermentation certification program at the Lakes Region community college starting next month!  Ken is really excited to be teaching the course on wine, cider and mead and hopes you or someone you know may be interested in attending the class. 


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Evolution of Hermit Woods Winery’s Petite Blue

by Ken Hardcastle, Winemaker
December, 2016

Really excited about the approach of crafting the 2016 petite blue this season. In attempt to break out of the typical approach of choosing a singular press date after macerating the fruit for a set number of days, the ferment this season was separated into four containers, and each was pressed on a different date (last season, two press times were used). This allowed us to capture the fresh fruit flavors of a early presses, combined with the deep tannins and body of a late press fraction. These are then all combined to produce a wine with all the desirable attributes. The wine was pressed after six, seven, eight, and 12 days of maceration.
In addition, the pomace from the press at six days was put into the container that was later pressed after 12 days of total skin contact time. I will call this ‘Second Press Primary’ and will further explore this with other ferments for all its potential. This step served to really boost the deep tannins and body of the 12 day press and make full use of the potential of this exceptional fruit. Although all fractions were combined into the final product this season, a separate carboy of each press fraction was isolated for later consideration with the goal of determining the optimal ratio for future batches of petite blue.

blueberry-wine-tastingAs expected, the early press wines are more fruit forward and aromatic while the later pressed wines have a more pronounced body and long-lasting grip. The combined total batch of petite blue is a beautiful blend of all four press fractions resulting in a wine with great fruit aromas, flavors, big body, and long lasting finish. Really dialing this in …!


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