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!
For those of you who are wanting to create a meaningful wedding day, full of lasting memories but feeling a little overwhelmed with the size of your guestlist. Have you considered holding an intimate wedding? This could be the answer to planning the wedding of your dreams but on a much smaller scale.
Holding a smaller celebration for your wedding day not only allows you to cherish those moments with your nearest and dearest but allows you to spend your budget in creating those memories in a way you can both enjoy with these guests. Here at Knightor Winery not only do we offer our exclusive venue hire weddings (Monday through Saturday), but Mondays through Wednesdays we also open up the venue for our elopement or ‘ceremony only’ package wedding days.
Choosing which one is right for you.
We’ve had some unique elopements at Knightor where it has just been the couple and the registrars creating a very intimate wedding ceremony. Whether the venue provides the witnesses or you ask your parents or best friends to join you, it really will be a personal experience for all involved. Eloping allows you to spend the whole day just you and your partner, doing the things you love to do together. You will have no set timeline just a series of well thought out activities to fill your special day.
Intimate with a smaller guestlist.
Our elopement packages here at Knightor allow for up to 12 guests to join you in celebrating your special day. So for those of you wanting your nearest and dearest there to celebrate the day with you this package is for you. With exclusive hire of the venue an hour each side of your ceremony, this allows you and your guests to relax and enjoy these dearest moments of the day uninterrupted. You can choose to hold your ceremony in our arbour overlooking our pond and surrounded by trees and wildflowers or say your vows upstairs in the traditional granite stone threshing barn.
There are many reasons for holding a smaller wedding.
If you are looking into the option or even starting to plan your own intimate wedding here are few reasons why a smaller wedding could really be the right move for you.
There is no doubt about it, an intimate wedding will cost less than a bigger wedding. It also doesn’t mean you have to cut corners in creating your perfect wedding just to keep within a budget. Setting yourself a realistic budget may help you come to this decision and save yourself a lot of money.
And, during this current time with social distancing measures, it could also be the perfect way to still get married with those around you who are closes, perhaps saving for a bigger party with all your friends at a later date.
For more information on our venue hire prices and what's included for our elopement packages please follow the link below:
A smaller guestlist means less pressure on the day. You have surrounded yourself with the people you feel most comfortable around and who mean the most to you. Allowing you the space and time to embrace the emotions of the day and enjoy every second of a special day with those around you.
With a few more pennies in your pocket this allows you to splurge if you want too. When you have fewer guests you can really go all out on the things that matter most to you. Why not go with the fancy wine or the three course wedding dinner? For others this may mean your dream of walking down the aisle to that string quartet or that designer dress really can come true. Holding a smaller wedding means you can pay more attention to the finer details and really enjoying them and your guests.
Why not make a weekend of it? Set in the beautiful Cornish countryside, Knightor is made up of threshing barns, our winery and beautiful grounds. We also have our onsite accommodation which can sleep up to 12 guests allowing you and your guests to stay without any traveling.
A wedding day is something completely personal to the couple which is why each wedding here at Knightor is so unique and different. Large or small, there is no wrong way in planning your wedding.
If you have been exploring the options of holding an intimate wedding or you are looking to elope just the two of you, please do get in touch with one of our weddings team, who would be very happy to talk with you both in more details about your plans for your special day.
Thank you to Laura and Lee who held their intimate wedding of just 11 at Knightor Winery and to Alexa Poppe Photography for sharing these beautiful images.
In the second video from our wedding planning in lockdown series, our wedding co-ordinators Jess and Cathryn chat about how you can bring a little Cornwall to your wedding day. They also introduce our new service, wine for weddings. If you are exploring and thinking about what drinks to serve at your day, we can help!
If you would some more inspiration and some links to some of the ideas mentioned in the video, you can also see a post we wrote a few weeks ago here
Stories from Knightor
Wine, weddings and feasts