Yoga in the Vines at Black Ankle Vineyard was a much different wine and yoga experience than Yoga in the Vineyard at Elk Run. The Elk Run experience was cozy and homey, while Black Ankle was more spacious (upscale?) and bucolic. Black Ankle also has been offering wine and yoga longer. One of the yoga instructors – Emily Lodge, or maybe Chris Leicht – used to work at Black Ankle.
My friend (not Day Trip Gal) and I arrived a little before 6 pm. If you haven’t been there before, Black Ankle is at the end of long, narrow, and unlit road that snakes its way through some nice woods – watch out for deer. If the road wasn’t called Black Ankle Rd, you’d probably think you were lost. The event was supposed to start at 6 pm, with a tour of the vineyard, followed by yoga from 6:30 – 8 pm, and tasting from 8 – 9 pm.
It seems as if most of the guests were late, so the tour didn’t start until around 6:25 pm. No problem though, because those of us who arrived earlier bought a glass of wine to relax with before and during the tour. I’ve done a few winery tours, but this was my first vineyard tour and it won’t be my last. Because of the yoga session following it, this was an abbreviated tour – 30 minutes instead of an hour – but it was all good. We walked down the road to the winery (the winery is about a half-mile from the tasting rooms), stopping along the way to talk about the vines and the farm.
Apparently the owner always wanted to be a farmer, so there are cows and pigs on the property as well. In fact, the guide fed the pigs along the way – cute little things. I found the background about the vines and grapes fascinating and I’ll be sure to return for the full tour. All kinds of good info on why the Maryland climate is problematic for some varietals and what happens at harvest time, etc.
Back to the tasting room area for yoga. It’s a beautiful space…..vines to the right and left, farmland (and cows) straight ahead, and the beautifully landscaped tasting room behind. The instructors brought their own musician, so we had live, peaceful music to go with an hour’s worth of vinyasa flow. It was good to have two instructors – one would give directions while the other walked around making gentle corrections.
This session was definitely a little more advanced and fast-paced than I’m used to, but there was no pressure to keep up. In fact, they said if we felt the need for a break, we could get up and go back for a glass of wine…I don’t think anyone did that though!
It was truly beautiful and relaxing doing yoga in such a lovely pastoral setting, with a gentle breeze and the sun slowly setting.
After the session ended, we had the tasting in the patio area. If you’re familiar with Black Ankle, you know they only do four tastings where others might do five or more. Their wine is also pricey, but they’re generally acknowledged as the best winery in Maryland, so I believe you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Since I knew I had to drive home on that wind-y road in total darkness (no streetlights, remember), I only took one sip of each tasting portion and dumped the rest. What I really liked was the freshly baked french bead and variety of cheeses for sampling with the tasting. What a fabulous way to end the evening sitting on the patio with wine, water, bread, cheese, and grapes. If only I had had a designated driver to take me home, it would have been truly awesome. They also had the most delicious truffles. $1.75 each so I only had one, but it was a great nightcap.
Overall a great evening and I’d do it again. The next Yoga in the Vines event is September 28.
Getting there: 14463 Black Ankle Rd, Mount Airy, MD 21771; fees required for tastings and for special yoga in the vines events.
To read about a previous Daytrip Gal and Daytrip Pal visit to Black Ankle Winery, check out https://midatlanticdaytrips.com/2013/07/a-taste-wineries-of-maryland-first-in.html
To read about Daytrip Pal’s experiences last month at Elk Run’s Yoga and Wine in the Vineyard, check out https://midatlanticdaytrips.com/2013/08/yoga-and-wine-in-vineyard.html
Updated May 2018