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Making wine from whole, mostly organic, fruit & raw honey and sharing it with you along with our knowledge and passion since 2011.
Making wine from whole, mostly organic, fruit & raw honey and sharing it with you along with our knowledge and passion since 2011.
Making wine from whole, mostly organic, fruit & raw honey and sharing it with you along with our knowledge and passion since 2011.
171 backers pledged $28,980 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Hermit Woods Winery is on the move! project video thumbnail
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Hermit Woods Winery is on the move!

$28,980

171

Dear friends,

Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to consider supporting Hermit Woods Winery and our Kickstarter project. We hope you find our project worthy of your support; we can’t do it alone.

First, a bit about us. Hermit Woods Winery is a small, boutique winey in it's third year of operation. You can visit our website at www.hermitwoods.com to learn more about us. 

Hermit Woods Winery at our current location.
Hermit Woods Winery at our current location.

Our company was born out of a deep friendship between three founding partners and their love and passion for wine. 

Chuck, Ken, and Bob
Chuck, Ken, and Bob

From the beginning, it has been our goal to produce the highest quality wine possible from local, organically grown (when available), and foraged whole fruit and honey. We support our local farmers, and through the sale of our wine, facilitate a local economy. 

Ken, Chuck, and I have transformed what was a hobby into a serious business producing and selling award-winning and increasingly popular wine. We did this through passion, dedication, and sheer determination, along with much help from our friends and family. 

Preparing the vineyard
Preparing the vineyard
Our first harvest with lots of help from our friends
Our first harvest with lots of help from our friends
Picking only the best grapes
Picking only the best grapes
Friends of the winery helping with the crush
Friends of the winery helping with the crush
Pressing wine in our basement, the early days.
Pressing wine in our basement, the early days.
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Having started our winery in the basement of my home, with our tasting room located in what was my master bedroom, it didn’t take long before we were bursting at the seams. 

Our tasting room (formerly our master bedroom)
Our tasting room (formerly our master bedroom)

We have squeezed as much wine out of my basement as is physically possible, and our tiny little tasting room has reached its capacity.

In the interest of continuing to provide our customers the highest quality wine and service they have come to appreciate from us—and to do so all year round—it became very clear that we had to find a new location for our winery. To that end, we have purchased a building in downtown Meredith, NH that we believe will be the ideal location.

Our real estate agent Ellen Mulligan at our new building
Our real estate agent Ellen Mulligan at our new building
Our new building from Main Street in Meredith
Our new building from Main Street in Meredith
Dover Street Side
Dover Street Side

This is where we need your help. We bought the winery’s future home at a very reasonable price, but the building is in much need of repair and maintenance. Working with the generous support of Meredith Village Savings Bank and Belknap Economic Development Council, we were able to borrow enough money to purchase the building, put a new roof and siding on it, replace some of the windows, and update the electrical and heating systems, among other things. We have done much of the work necessary to ensure that it is a sound location for our business. 

Our vision
Our vision

The initial funding also supported the purchase of equipment essential to the increase in production that will support a year-round operation. 

Our new cleaning area, yeahhh, three sinks!
Our new cleaning area, yeahhh, three sinks!
Some new equipment and "toys"!
Some new equipment and "toys"!
Winery area under construction
Winery area under construction
The rear of the building
The rear of the building
It's starting to look like our new winery!
It's starting to look like our new winery!
Making progress!
Making progress!

We are now at the end of our resources, and a few very important details remain unfunded, the most critical of which is our tasting room. 

Tasting Room
Tasting Room
Tasting Room
Tasting Room

We have come a long way and are very excited about seeing it through to the finish! With your help, we hope to wrap the project up by the beginning of the year and be open soon thereafter to once again share our wine with you. The following is a breakdown of the areas that remain unfunded and your generous support will help us get done: 

1. Painting - 1,600 

2. 1,000 square feet of hardwood floor -  6,200 

3. Lighting for the tasting room, exterior, and signs -  4,600 

4. Enlarge our deck to make room for outdoor seating - 10,600

Proposed Deck
Proposed Deck

5. Commercial Wine Cooler - 1,800 

New under bar cooler
New under bar cooler

6. Build a new and expanded wine bottle bar - 3,200 

These prices only reflect the cost of the materials and in some cases labor. We will be doing much of the work ourselves, along with, again, many of our wonderful friends and relatives who have helped us see this through from the beginning. We wish we could do it alone, but we can’t. And just as we want to support our community, we need our community to support us. So please, consider helping us in whatever way you can. If you don’t have the resources to contribute, then please consider sharing our project with friends and family members who may. 

 We have done our best to show our appreciation for each and every one of your contributions with our gifts to you for helping us. But most importantly, if you help us make this happen, we will be sure to give back for years to come with our continued effort to make the best wine possible, support our local farmers and wine sellers, and provide the best service we can to you and our community.

About Hermit Woods Wine 

Making wine in the colder climates of northern New England is not easy.

Our vineyard in the dead of winter
Our vineyard in the dead of winter
Snow on Memorial Day!
Snow on Memorial Day!

 We seek to learn everything there is to know about producing wine here, and what’s not known, we hope to discover. We, like most people, had equated wine with the traditional grapes grown in the many famous wine regions around the world. What we have since learned is that wine can be, and is, so much more than that. There are many attributes that make a wine great, and grapes are not the only fruit blessed with them. A good wine is measured by a wide spectrum of characteristics, such as body, balance, bouquet, complexity, structure, mouth-feel, color, length, and finish, to name just a few.

And to be defined as great, wine must excel at many of these characteristics. What we are discovering at Hermit Woods is that many of the native fruits that grow abundantly throughout the Northeast are capable of producing many of these characteristics.

Even more remarkably, when we apply traditional and modified old-world winemaking techniques along with the right blends of fruit and honey, we can create outstanding wines that embody all these characteristics—and very often we can do it organically. This is our mission, and with your help we will continue to make it happen. 

Risks and challenges

The sheer size and scale of our project brings along with it many risks. We are moving from what has been a relatively stable and manageably sized business that is part of our home and is open only 65 days a year to a much larger stand-alone building that will be open year-round. We have incurred a great deal of debt in order to make this happen, and will need to produce and sell a far greater amount of wine to pay that debt off. However, we view these challenges as only minor compared to what we encountered when making the decision to start this winery four years ago.

When we began this endeavor, we had very little knowledge of what was involved with opening a winery, never mind one in the cold climate of northern New England. But what we did know, based on our individual experience, was that if we put our minds to it, there was nothing we could not do.

The three off us bring together a unique set of skills that, as it turns out, are well suited for the task at hand. Our winemaker, Ken Hardcastle, is a PhD Geologist who brings his years of training as a scientist along with a deep understanding of chemistry gleaned from his father, a professor of chemistry. Chuck, an airline pilot, is often referred to as the McIver amongst us, who possesses a wide depth and breadth of skills, along with a keen palate and silver tongue. I, Bob, have successfully formed several small businesses, one of which is an advertising and marketing company, combined with my skills as a professional photographer. With our unique blend of talents, and with our demonstrated determination, dedication, passion, and hard work, we know that there is no problem we cannot solve.

We remain undaunted in our latest chapter of this adventure, and we intend to see the next phase of our project through to completion. It’s not going to be easy—there will be lots of challenges and we know we can’t do it alone—but we can do it. And we will.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page and a Hermit Woods Winery Snail sticker signed by the three founders.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery Snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting room for all to see.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery Snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new Tasting Room for all to see and a Hermit Woods Wine Key.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Every wish you could work at a winery! Now you can... with this reward, you will get the opportunity to spend one hour working with us behind our new bar! We will teach you the art of pouring and you can join us in telling our story! And of course you will also get our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery Snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new Tasting Room for all to see and a Hermit Woods Wine Key.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    An invitation to our private Grand Opening Party. Our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery Snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new Tasting Room for all to see and two tasting glasses and a Hermit Woods Wine Key.

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    Reward no longer available 15 backers
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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Join us as we bottle and label one of our wines. Every bottle of Hermit Woods Wine is bottle by hand, you will get to help us take our finished wine through the bottling process all the way to labeling and caping. You will also receive our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery Snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting room for all to see.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your name printed on one of our wine labels commemorating our new winery. Plus our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods tasting glasses. (glasses must be picked up at the winery).

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    A Hermit Woods Winery hat and T-Shirt, a Hermit Woods Wine Key along with two Hermit Woods Tasting Glasses, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting room for all to see. (a shipping fee of $6.00 will be applied for all orders shipped.)

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Sponsor an Oak Wine Barrel prominently placed in the entrance of our tasting room with a plaque with your name on it thanking your for your support. A Hermit Woods Winery hat and T-Shirt, a Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods Tasting Glasses, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders (a shipping fee of $6.00 will be applied for all orders shipped.)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A private and intimate tour for you and five friends with owners Bob Manley and Ken Hardcastle, winemaker, where you will explore our cellar, discuss our approach to wine making & see first hand how we make it all happen. Each guest will receive a complementary tasting glass. plus, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key and a Hermit Woods Winery T-Shirt.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Host a private event and tour for you and up to 15 of your friends at our new winery. Plus, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods tasting glasses. (must be picked up at the winery). A Hermit Woods Winery T-Shirt.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will receive an invite for two to attend our annual press dinner held for the media every Spring. You will join the Hermit Woods team along with wine and food writers from across New England for a five course dinner. Chef Halligan will describe each course for you as they are served. When available, attendance at this dinner includes lodging for the evening (not guaranteed), plus, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting Room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods tasting glasses and a Hermit Woods Winery T-Shirt.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A beautiful hand painted and hand made 2' by 3" floor cloth finely crafted for you by our Wine Maker's wife Maya, an accomplished floor cloth maker. The design will include an image of our Hermit Woods Snail, plus, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting Room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods tasting glasses and a Hermit Woods Winery T-Shirt.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    We will name a wine in your honor. You can name a wine of your choice (pending federal label approval and space available on the label). We will produce 10 cases of your uniquely named and labeled wine and make it available for sale in our tasting room, plus, our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting Room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods tasting glasses and a Hermit Woods Winery T-Shirt.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    A private five course dinner prepared for you and seven of your guests prepared by Chef Halligan from only the finest local ingredients. Our wine maker and the Chef will describe each course as they are served. A private tour of our winery and Tasting Room for you and all your guests with owners Bob Manley and Owner/Wine maker Ken Hardcastle. You and each of your guests will also receive our sincere appreciation for your support and a public thank you on our website and facebook page. A Hermit Woods Winery snail sticker signed by the three founders as well as your name permanently displayed in our new tasting Room for all to see. A Hermit Woods wine key along with two Hermit Woods tasting glasses and a Hermit Woods Winery T-Shirt.

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Funding period

- (31 days)