We are very excited about this years releases. Improvements have been made to all our favorite wines from last year, we have increased production on many of the wines that were in short supply last year, and we have added a number of new wines. We hope you find this year’s wines as exciting as we do. We will be releasing most of our wines in late May.
Our wines are local (to the degree possible), vegan (except our honey wines), gluten free, raw, not certified but mostly organic to Best Management Practices (BMP) orchard, backyard, and wild foraged fruit, always whole fruit, never heat processed, gentle hand processed, made with minimal to no chemical adjustments/additions, balanced, nutritious … and very tasty. For best aging, store our wines in a cool, dark, stable location.
NON-GRAPE FRUIT WINES
Harvest Apple Wine: This local, mixed apple cider wine is excellent on its own and also pairs well with light and spicy foods, including appetizers, shrimp cocktail, or spinach pie. It is outstanding with lobster. Serve this off-dry wine chilled.
Pear-Apple: Two old time favorite fruits for making wine from in many different forms, such as Perry, hard cider, and apple jack. A delightful and delicate off dry wine, great chilled on its own or enjoyed alongside steamed asparagus or mild rice dishes.
Heirloom Crabapple Wine: Our signature wine … first batch (2008) was based on Bob and Jerilyn’s tree, here at the winery. These Dolgo crabapples are an heirloom variety. This off-sweet, tangy wine is a great aperitif and also an excellent partner with a wide variety of foods, including spicy dishes, light meals, breads, etc.
Petite Blue: This wine is bursting with fresh blueberry aromas and flavors and is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins: an entire pound of wild. tiny, lowbush blueberries are in each and every bottle of the wine! Unlike many available blueberry wines, this is not sweet and more akin to a Pinot Noir … Serve slightly chilled to cool room temp.
Elderberry: Made from wild foraged elderberries throughout the state, some plants over 50 years old, then handled like Pinot Noir resulting in a complex, unique red wine full of natural goodness and health benefits.
Kiwi Wine: Made from locally grown kiwi which are great little fruit, similar to common New Zealand/California kiwi. The wine is finished off dry and can be compared to a Riesling. Excellent on its own or with thai or indian foods, prosciutto and melon, and light summer fare, including gazpacho, fresh fruit and salads.
Zuke: With an offer of local zucchini and squash, we had to try a wine. Combined with ginger and black pepper in the fermenter, this light, off dry wine is surprisingly refreshing and makes an excellent partner with many foods.
Blue: Blueberries pushed into Burgundy territory through the use of a French yeast, classic vinifera wine-making processes including malolactic fermentation and aging in an oak barrel. Enjoy this deep dry red wine as you would any Pinot Noir. Will age well.
Maple Blue: Somewhat similar to our Pinot Blue but instead of sugar and water (because blueberries on their own will not ferment to 11% alcohol), we use 100% maple sap from our sugar maple trees here at Hermit Woods, concentrated over a wood-fired syruping pan.
Elderberry Oak: Same fruit source as our Elderberry wine, but fermented warmer and put through malolactic fermentation and then aged in an oak barrel – a deep, satisfying red wine entirely from local wild fruit.
Rosehip Wine: Available soon. Made from the ‘hips’ from Rugosa Rose plants – those red, tart and tangy, bulbs left over after the flowers fade. These are loaded with vitamin C and make an excellent wine. Akin to a pinot grigio, enjoy this light, off dry wine with appetizers or margherite. Serve lightly chilled.
Knot Tomato: Available soon. Both a cooking wine and a nice drinking wine for the tomato lover, this one will surprise you as it is bursting with fresh and aromatic tomato flavors. This wine is an excellent complement to grilled fish and/or roasted veggies or use it to infuse complex and lasting tomato flavors to your favorite sauce.
MEADS (HONEY WINES)
Three-Honey Wine: Three separate, raw, unfiltered, wildflower honeys are blended to make this special mead (honey wine). Each honey has a distinct character and contribution to the aromatic, light but intense, long lasting and complex flavors of this “show mead.” Our first batch of this wine won a silver medal at the National, American Wine Society’s Commercial Wine Competition. This is a versatile wine which can be served chilled to room temp., enjoyed on its own or with a wide variety of foods, but best with those that do not overpower its alluring and delicate nose …
Red Scare: This is a unique wine: a multiberry melomel comprised of blueberry, blackberry, black currant, and honey wines in proportions to provide balance, structure, and long-deep flavors. This intense, off dry wine holds up well with many foods and is very enjoyable on its own. We enjoy it most slightly chilled. Can be consumed now but will age very well.
Hermitage: Made from our first harvest from our young vineyard, this pyment is a field blend of our grapes combined with local honey to balance the high acidity of the grapes.
Ginger Peach: No hot-pressed, non-local juice here … as with all our wines, fresh whole fruit processed raw for full flavor/health benefits are combined in this delicate aromatic off dry white wine. Compare with a Riesling or Semillon … enjoy it chilled to slightly chilled with salads, grilled veggies or dark chocolate.
Three Spice Mead: Raw honey was combined with a special blend of spices: black pepper, coriander, and cardamon. Ken has tried a wide variety of spices with honey wines and this is one of his favorite combinations. As with all our honey wines, this will age well, further blending and evolving over time … and just like with each sip at any time, you will find new flavors and aromas.
Old Vine Foch: This is a pyment: a honey wine made with wine grapes. Every step in the process is done raw and by hand to capture all the goodness and potential of the exceptional materials. This is an intense wine with very unique flavors and aromas. It is drinking well now, and will continue to age for many years, revealing more black cherry notes and obtaining a smoother mouth feel and depth of flavors with time.
Crabapple Honey: Building on the wonderful natural acidity and pectic dryness of the Dolgo Crabapples we combine these locally foraged ones with local raw honey to provide a complex, off dry wine with long aroma, flavor, and finish.
Day Lily: Summer in a glass … this is a one-of-a-kind wine made from natural ingredients at Ken’s house: day lily flowers, rhubarb, and honey. Enjoy this off dry wine slightly chilled with lamb, pork, robust or sharp cheeses or on its own.
Lavender Mead: This mead is infused with dried lavender and heather flowers from our friend’s garden. Made from local raw honey, this unique wine is perfumed wine.
Red Scare Oak: Our Red Scare aged in a French Oak Barrel and finished dry. This is a unique wine: a multiberry melomel comprised of blueberry, blackberry, black currant, and honey wines in proportions to provide balance, structure, and long-deep flavors. This intense, off dry wine holds up well with many foods and is very enjoyable on its own. We enjoy it most slightly chilled. Can be consumed now but will age very well.
Blue Mead: A blend of two separate wines: our blueberry wine and a mead made from local honey. The blend is carefully balanced to capture the best of both. Serve slightly chilled to cool room temp. This off-dry wine is great on its own.
Melange: A melomel (fruit+honey wine) made from all local, all organic, all whole, honey, elderberry, blackberries, and choke cherries. This off sweet, higher alcohol wine is a great dessert treat. A complex and engaging sipping wine.
CLASSIC VINIFERA RED WINES
2010 Merlot (Napa Valley California): Enjoy this deep, classic red wine with robust meat dishes. Heavy extraction of tannins and acidity during fermentation, this wine is drinking fine now at release, but will age and reach peak depth and balance of flavors in 2-4 years.
2010 Farmhouse Red (Chilean Malbec): This is a classic grape used in French wines but was wiped out by disease there … it has found a new home in South America that it seems to really like! Enjoy with a variety of foods and on its own. Aged in a French oak barrel for added depth and complexity. This wine is drinking fine now and will mature well, reaching its peak in 2-3 years.
2011 Cottage Red (2nd Press Carmenere+Cabernet): Following the gentle pressing of our 2011 Chilean Carmenere and Cabernet grapes, we took the remaining fruit, still containing plenty of color, flavors, and tannins, added the right amount of water and sugar for a simple red table wine and let it re-ferment to dryness. A frugal practice pursued by many winemaking families over the centuries and in keeping with our philosophies and in step with what we think the Hermit would applaud. The result is an easy drinking red wine for everyday consumption.
2011 Lake House Red (2nd Press Carmenere+Cabernet aged in an oak barrel): Available soon. Our Cottage Red but aged in a French Oak barrel for many months to give it greater concentration and tannins.
2011 Ermitano (Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon): Available in 2013. A big bold wine from the wonderful, small cabernet sauvignon grapes. Enjoy this deep, dry, classic red wine with robust meat dishes.
2011 Karmin Ayre (Chilean Carmenere): Available in 2013. Thought to be Merlot for many years when first planted in South America, this grape is similar and seems to grow outstandingly well in Chile. Enjoy this deep, classic red wine with robust meat dishes or on its own.