Category Archives: What’s New?

Hermit Woods partners with a Meredith Artist and the Lake Winnipesaukee Association to raise awareness and funds


Bob Manley, Ken Hardcastle, and Pat Tarpey with the new Winnipesaukee Rose wine

One of the most important resources in the winemaking process is water, so when Hermit Woods Winery learned that the Lake Winnipesaukee Association was dedicated to protecting Lake Winnipesaukee’s water quality and natural resources they wanted to help.

Ken Hardcastle, Hermit Woods Winemaker, understands the importance of our water resources better than most. Before starting Hermit Woods Winery, Ken was a geologist working for a local firm, Emery & Garrett Groundwater, for over 25 years helping organizations and municipalities up and down the eastern seaboard find and manage their water needs. Now, as the Hermit Woods winemaker, Ken values our water resources more than ever.

Ken Hardcastle, co-owner of Hermit Woods Winery

As Ken explains, “Water is one of our most important resources in the making of wine. Not only is it used extensively in the sanitation process, it is often used as an ingredient. We can’t make wine without it, and we can’t make great wine without great water. Thanks to organizations like the Lake Winnipesaukee Association, we have great water here in Meredith.”

When Pat Tarpey, Executive Director of the Lake Winnipesaukee Association, introduced herself to Bob, Ken, and Chuck, Hermit Woods founders, and let them know the important role her organization plays in the protection of their water, they wanted to do something to help. That is when the idea for a Lake Winnipesaukee Rosé was born.

Winnipesaukee Rose

Timing is everything. It was around the same time that Ken Hardcastle was beginning production of Hermit Woods’ very first cranberry apple wine that Pat came knocking, and their new summer rosé needed a name and all new packaging. Hermit Woods decided to dedicate their new wine to helping The Lake Winnipesaukee Association raise awareness and funds to continue the good work they are doing.

This is where Stephen Hodecker, a Meredith Artist, comes in. Pat and Bob reached out to Stephen and asked him to consider donating the use of one of his paintings for their new rosé. Without hesitation, Stephen generously offered his work. A label was designed, a new bottle was selected, and the package was complete. On April 12th, the wine was bottled and labeled, creating a whole new wine and look for Hermit Woods Winery. Hermit Woods has committed to donating 10% of the profits on this wine to help fund the Lake Winnipesaukee Association. Hermit Woods Co-founder Bob Manley: “We are so excited about this partnership. It’s not only a great way for us to help raise the funds this organization needs to do the good work they do, but the distribution of our wine will also help raise awareness of the organization across the State. I am so thankful Pat found us when she did.”

Hermit Woods will officially release the new Winnipesaukee Rosé on April 29 to their 350 club members.  The Winery produced 180 cases, which can be found for sale in the Winery’s Tasting Room as well as in stores across NH and in the NH State Liquor Stores.

But that is only where the story begins. Bob, Pat, and Stephen are now working with the Lake Winnipesaukee Association Board of Directors to plan an official release party/fundraiser to help raise further awareness and funds for the organization. Planning is in the early stages, and we hope to put something together by June. Pat Tarpey: “I cannot express our appreciation enough for the enthusiasm and generosity with which Hermit Woods and Stephen Hodecker have responded to this endeavor.  The label is beautiful, the wine light and refreshing – like a summer day on the lake. We are very excited about this partnership, and look forward to the opportunity to express our gratitude to Hermit Woods and Stephen Hodecker publicly at the launch party.”

Events and News

Landscapers Learn How to Protect Local Waterbodies!

Just in time for spring, local landscapers participated in a 2 day training on March 30 and 31 in the Moultonborough Life Safety Building to learn ways to protect our lakes and ponds as they landscape near the water’s edge. UNH Cooperative Extension professionals gave them tips on managing stormwater runoff, which contributes over 80% of the contaminants that enter our local waters.

We love our lawns and we love our lakes.  However, green lawns extending to the shoreline can lead to a green lake.  Your landscape can make an important difference in the health of Lake Winnipesaukee and your local rivers, lakes and streams, even if you don’t live on shoreline property. Appropriate trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in your landscape will help capture and absorb rainwater and snowmelt. This helps prevent contaminants such as nutrients, sediments and bacteria from reaching the Lake or other water bodies.

To help keep Lake Winnipesaukee and the numerous surrounding lakes and ponds clear and blue, landscape professionals learned ways in which they can incorporate stormwater management principles into their landscape design and maintenance activities. Landscapers have a unique opportunity to educate property owners to incorporate these innovative designs (Figures A and B) that will protect slopes from erosion, maximize the amount of water that can be intercepted and infiltrated into the soil, and add interest to the landscape.  Not only does water quality and wildlife benefit, but groundwater sources are replenished as well.

Residential lot_landscapingbegin

Traditional property with green lawn to water’s edge

Ecological landscape design

Ecological landscape design

A comprehensive list of topics covering hydrology, stormwater management principles, soils, plant selection, Shoreland protection regulations and more were presented by faculty and specialists from the UNH Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Soak up the Rain program. Guest speakers from the UNH Stormwater Center, University of Connecticut, and local town and watershed groups offered additional information on the effectiveness and maintenance of vegetative stormwater systems, lawn care best management practices, and local regulations and policies adopted to protect water quality.

One highlight of the training involved a field visit to the clubhouse at the Balmoral Improvement Association, a private community located on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, to provide participants with the opportunity to put the theories and principles into practice.  Using site plans, aerial photos, and information garnered from the site assessment, workshop attendees presented conceptual designs to enhance the current site with plantings, rain gardens, and other best management practices to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, increase infiltration, and stop erosion.

Field visit to the Balmoral Improvement Association Clubhouse to put theories into practice.

Field visit to the Balmoral Improvement Association Clubhouse to put theories into practice.

Workshop attendees apply stormwater management principles to paper to enhance a site with ecological approaches to landscaping for water quality protection.

Workshop attendees apply stormwater management principles to paper to enhance a site with ecological approaches to landscaping for water quality protection.

To view the workshop presentations, visit UNH Cooperative Extensions website at Landscapers participating in the training will be included in UNH Cooperative Extensions ‘Directory of Landscape Professionals Trained in Ecological Landscaping for Water Quality Protection’, and will be listed on the Winnipesaukee Gateway website. Financial and organizational assistance is gratefully acknowledged from these local sponsors: Lake Winnipesaukee Association, Moultonborough Conservation Commission, and Miracle Farms Landscape Contractors.

Attention: Civic Groups, Schools, Real Estate Agencies, Lake Associations, etc…

Schedule a speaker for your next event or annual meeting

LWA will be happy to coordinate a professional speaker for your next meeting. Speakers will talk about lake issues and watershed issues that are important to your group. Please contact for more information.