As we begin a new year, it is important to reflect on the past year and use this to make informed decisions to move forward as a business but also as individuals, with clarity and focus.
As a small local business, we received incredible support in 2020 despite it being a year that none of us had planned! We are so thankful to each and every one of our customers, followers and supporters and hope you continue to follow our journey through 2021. We look back on 2020, season by season...
In the winery... Lockdown meant a change of working practices; Nick and I were home schooling Max and refereeing Reuben! We started our local deliveries and Liam kept everything going down there. We bottled and labelled our Bacchus and Maximilian 2019. Our highlights... Highlights of Spring included our Bacchus winning Silver at the WineGB Awards and Bronze at the IWSC and securing a contract to supply Fortnum and Mason with their own label English Bacchus.
In the vineyard... We hadn’t yet chosen where our grapes would come from for the 2020 vintage, but at this point the buds would have burst on the vines, the leaves unfurled, and they would be preparing for flowering.
In the winery... We packed up our 1,800 bottles that went off to F&M. We raised £18,000 on our Crowdfunder in order to pay for more grapes, tanks and to increase our range and production. Thank you to everyone who contributed! Our highlights... We were awarded the best wine Midlands and North for our Bacchus 2019 at the WineGB online awards ceremony.
In the vineyard... We secured our grape contracts from Somborne Valley in Hampshire and Walton Brook in Leicestershire. We were also lucky enough to use the break in the lockdown to spend a family holiday in a campervan and visit both vineyards. The grapes went through veraison in late August and spent September and October ripening up ready for harvest.
In the winery... Preparations commenced for a different harvest, smaller team, masked, but plenty of biscuits and cups of tea. The grapes began rolling in on 25th September and we completed a month later.
In the winery... A very changed Christmas on the horizon and we knew we needed to plan to supply some lovely gifts and treats but also low-key home and office celebrations given the shutdown of hospitality. Our highlights... We partnered with Corrine from Powder Butterfly, based in the North East, who created some beautiful wooden boxes for our brand new gift sets. We also supplied corporate gifts and tasting events to local businesses. Overall, we saw a huge overall growth of over 600% compared to December 2019! In the vineyard... The vines across the UK and Northern Hemisphere are now in winter dormancy, something they need to build up strength for the coming growing season. Growers will be carrying out winter pruning, a crucial part in determining the yield and quality of the 2021 harvest.
So now we sit here in January, having come full circle, Nick and I are once again home-schooling Max, Reuben is at nursery and Liam is holding the fort at the winery. We’ve learned so much in the past year, but most importantly the feeling of kindness and understanding other people’s situations and that we can face anything together. There is hope.
With every new year comes new opportunities, projects and of course wines! We can't wait to share more, so be sure you're following us on social media to be the first to hear...