About this project
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.
Our company was born out of a deep friendship between three founding partners and their love and passion for wine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The initial funding also supported the purchase of equipment essential to the increase in production that will support a year-round operation.
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.
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
5. Commercial Wine Cooler - 1,800
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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