A Word from Hermit Woods Winemaker

Posted 11/16/11

Ken Hardcastle, Hermit Woods Wine MakerThe first year at Hermit Woods has been both rewarding and a tremendous learning experience.  As the Wine Maker, handling far greater volumes of wine and working with new fruit (elderberry, tomato, and rhubarb to name a few) were a welcomed challenge and a lot of fun.  The great response from all our guests has also been a great boost and has propelled us all at Hermit Woods into increased production and even greater attention to making the most outstanding wines we can.

With what was learned from last year’s products and some of the experiments I have been conducting, I will be exploring several new directions and new wines this year.  Specific yeasts were tested on many of the previous wines allowing us to identify the best yeast for this year’s wine (wait until you try the crabapple!).  With over 100 batches of different wines under my belt, I have developed better strategies for the handling of the wine at all stages, resulting in smoother, more intense wines with greater complexity.  The continued making of big red wines, based on world class grapes, such as merlot, malbec, carmenere, and cabernet, further enhances my understandings of classic wine making processes which I then apply to local fruits to best explore the potential these fruits have for making great local wines.  All of us at Hermit Woods are very excited about the results thus far.

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One particular wine I am very excited about is a blend I have wanted to try for many year’s and I look forward to sharing the first ever batch of this with you next Spring: a day lily-honey-rhubarb wine … all local (from my backyard!), all organic, all wonderful … and the color matches our snail!!

Looking forward to sharing our new wines with you soon.  Cheers, Ken