Long before Hermit Woods Winery was a twinkle in anyone’s eye (or glass), three friends, a photographer, a geologist, and a pilot, would hang out.
Together, they’d bike, boat, and hike across the Lakes Region, all while experimenting with new ways to slake their thirst for craft beverages.
Years later, only one thing has changed. They’re founders and owners of an innovative craft winery. They drink for a living.
Before I became a vintner, I was a geologist. Terroir is way more than the geology but it begins there. The geology sets in motion the shape of the landscape – the soil, the water flow, the air flow – which in turn determines the flora and fauna.
You can taste our distinctive terroir in the fruits, flowers, and vegetables once the microbes have turned them into wine – with a little help from me.
When we founded our winery, it was illegal in New Hampshire to charge for tastings. So we sold wine glasses to our guests and gave the wine away for free.
We ruffled a few feathers but eventually the authorities saw the wisdom of our ways and changed the rules. Now I can tell customers at our tasting bar that it’s a wine experience so good, it used to be illegal.
My roots here in the Granite State go back 400 years. Ethics and community are important to me.
We believe in saving the planet. We’ve installed solar panels in the winery buildings. We believe in being part of the community. We support local farmers, local arts, and local businesses. We believe in fair pay for all. We create local jobs with a living wage.
We’re also very, very supportive of the palate.
Just as we feel strongly about doing right by our planet, our farmers, and our community, we also feel strongly about doing right by our employees. (Our employees agree!)
Our winery is one of a growing number of independent businesses that add a small but significant living wage surcharge. It allows us to pay close to twice New Hampshire’s minimum wage.
There are two kinds of contrarian. The first, a blind contrarian. Someone who automatically does the opposite of what everyone else is doing. They’re just a follower in reverse. We’re the other kind of contrarian. Someone who rejects conventional wisdom when they can see a better way to go. With our three different unconventional perspectives, we’re well positioned to do that. For over a decade, we’ve been turning tradition upside down in the wine world and we’re not done yet.
Hermit Woods, a stone’s throw from Meredith, isn’t just close to us physically. It’s also close spiritually. These dense woods were home to Joseph Plummer, hermit and original contrarian. For decades until his death in 1862, he amused and bemused the community with his ingenuity and eccentricity. This included making and playing bass viols, and fiercely denouncing turnpikes in verse.
He also had an astonishing gift for fermenting cider from the apples in his small orchard. Despite his solitary location deep in the forest, his fame spread and he attracted a steady stream of visitors. We like to think we’re following in his footsteps. At least, when it comes to making fermented drinks.
Below is a google map to the site. You can also use What3Words to locate the grave. The grave site’s three words are: windpipe.yucky.songbirds