Without a doubt, 2020 threw us all some curveballs! But being in the business of making wine, we made sure we got stuck in and kept on going! From a 'seemingly as normal' start with promising spring, to a year to navigating what a lockdown meant for us as a business and for our wine production, we had to learn and grow very quickly.
We asked David, our winemaker, to share some of his year with you and this is his 2020 story.
Growing season and vintage
The growing season for 2020 was short and fast. February was wet, but things changed as we got in to March. As I am sure many will remember, Spring was beautiful with what seemed almost endless sunshine and warmth, perfect weather to bring budburst on in the vineyards and for us in Cornwall, little frost risk with relatively mild nights.
We could only think that with such good weather early on in the year, what would the rest of the year hold? Surely it wouldn't be as good would it?!
The vines put growth on quickly in the favourable conditions and flowering occurred earlier than usual, but the weather the couple of weeks prior to flowering [June] and during flowering for many varieties was a little cooler than average and dull. This resulted in mixed results when flowering did occur, most varieties suffering with poor fruit set.
Early Summer was mixed, a little downy mildew was spotted in the vineyard and weather continued slightly changeable. Eventually relatively warm dry weather won out.
Harvest was the earliest we have ever witnessed, with most of the grapes being picked in September. The majority of the crop was picked before the heavy rains in October. Crops were very light, but quality across the board was very high. With higher than typical sugar levels whilst still retaining acidity.
A year of new ideas and innovation.
Summer was excellent and we welcomed many of you to our pop ups, wine shop and tastings, albeit socially distanced with the continued limited numbers in shop, for tastings and tours.
The quiet periods during the year have been great for experimenting and playing around with various ideas.
After lots of trial, error and caramel making, we finally came up with a Rosso Vermouth that we are really pleased with. The first batch was bottled and released mid 2020 to complete our Vermouth collection.
2020 was different in all regards, with the spring restrictions meaning we bottled the 2019 wines later than usual, with many new varietals not being released until late 2020.
Looking to 2021
From the 2020 harvest there are a number of wines that look like standouts so far. The Pinot noir in general was exceptional, both the Pinot Noir rosé and red Pinot look super.
In addition to this, we should have the return of our Merlot Cabernet blend, 2 barrels of highly concentrated, rich red, but a little patience will be required as release is expected late 2021!
Stories from Knightor
Wine, weddings and feasts