Two items sure to make anyone’s list of top 10 relaxing indulgences—maybe even top five—are wine tasting and yoga. Recent trends in wellness have seen the two combined with vineyard-based vinyasa classes followed by wine tasting for a fun event that merges self-care, friends and indulgence.
In 2017, we joined Veritas Vineyards & Winery as they hosted a relaxed vinyasa yoga class, followed by a sampling of their wines. The class could best be described in wine-tasting terms as light but full-bodied: we moved through poses for each part of the body, and then, stretched and relaxed and feeling the yoga vibes, enjoyed some wine to close out the session.
Yoga Retreat at Charlottesville Area Winery
On a beautiful evening in Afton, Virginia, yoga instructor Chloe Watkins and a group of willing yogis-slash-oenophiles gathered outside at Veritas and placed their mats on an expanse of lawn in front of the vines that are home to the vineyard’s varietal grapes.
In the last heat of the day, just before sunset, participants moved through a mellow yoga routine designed to connect them with their surroundings. As the group reached to the sky and bent toward the earth, they breathed in their surroundings: the vines that framed them, the trees that surrounded them, and the mountains embracing them in the distance. After a closing savasana, the traditional rest period at the end of a yoga practice, the group toasted the occasion with glasses of crisp Rosé wine.
Veritas prides itself on this refreshing beverage, with its notes of raspberries and soft red fruits, and Watkins deemed it, “a perfect reward for practicing.” Lounging on their yoga mats, the attendees watched the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains while sipping wine.
The magical evening was led by Watkins, the youngest child of Veritas owners Andrew and Patricia Hodson. Watkins grew up on the Veritas property and started working at the vineyard when she was only 12 years old. Her love and understanding of the landscape is rooted in her childhood adventures as well as her adult years working at Veritas as the project manager.
As the group reached to the sky and bent toward the earth, they breathed in their surroundings: the vines that framed them, the trees that surrounded them, and the mountains embracing them in the distance.
In addition to her work at Veritas, Watkins owns Santosha Yoga in Crozet, Virginia, with her friend and business partner Ashley Holland. For Watkins, these combined yoga and wine-tasting experiences were an opportunity for her to come full circle, incorporating her two passions in life.
The popularity of these events at Veritas shows that practicing yoga and drinking wine are complementary of the other. For Watkins, both yoga and wine are about a sense of community, a way to foster time together in our increasingly fractured world. “And, yoga is about feeling whole; wine drinking contributes to that! This is a healthy, relaxed way to spend an afternoon or evening,” she enthuses.
Year-Round Yoga at Veritas Vineyard & Winery
While Veritas no longer offers these specific regular classes, the pairing of yoga and wine is still very close to the heart of this winery. They currently offer single- or multi-day health retreats in concert with their bed & break house, The Farmhouse at Veritas. These options include a specialized one-day yoga retreat as well as a wellness retreat, designed to offer guests four days and three nights of yoga, hiking, wine, food and relaxation.
Benefits of Yoga in Nature
Moving through yoga poses and doing breathwork in a vineyard setting can activate all the body’s senses and maximize the flavor and mouthfeel of your post-class glass. Feel the grass and connect to the solid Earth under your feet. Hear the birdsong and literally reach for the sky. Take deep breaths of the fresh air. When you practice yoga in nature, you need a higher level of concentration due to the uneven terrain and the extra effort for balance and control. This helps your body to sync with the environment around you, increasing the intensity of the practice. Scientists have found that the naturally occurring patterns in organic forms have calming, focusing qualities too. Therefore, practicing yoga in nature is a great way to tap into a heightened meditative state. Being in nature heightens your senses, restores energy and brings your yoga practice to a whole new level.
Experience Yoga in the Vineyard
When you pair meticulously crafted wine with seasoned yoga teachers, the winery experience naturally becomes a breathtakingly gorgeous and relaxing way to spend the day taking care of yourself. With vineyard views that seemingly never end, Virginia is the perfect place for a leisurely day of sip and flow.From rejuvenating vinyasa flows to soothing restorative yoga, these Virginia wineries are here to help create calmness and strength with you.
Yoga and Wine Tasting Events in Charlottesville & Central Virginia
- Albemarle Ciderworks Yoga in the Orchard, every Sunday morning through the end of May followed by a glass of cider.
- King Family Vineyards Vinyasa with a View with FlyDog Yoga, practice yoga just outside the vineyard and follow it up with an evening glass of wine.
- Pro Re Nata Pints & Poses Yoga, an hour of vinyasa yoga followed up with a cool pint of beer.
- Veritas Vineyard & Winery aside from one-off classes such as the one in this article, Veritas Vineyards also offers a gourmet brunch, winemaker tour and yoga retreat package, as well as a 4-day wine, hiking and yoga retreat for total relaxation and rejuvenation.
Yoga and Wine Tasting Events at Northern Virginia Wineries & Cideries
- Bluemont Vineyard Vinyasa with a View, 60-minute Hatha & Vinyasa class open to all levels. Enjoy a glass or flight of their wine with your yoga.
- Fleetwood Farm Winery Namaste & Rosé, 60-minute Vinyasa Flow class followed by conversation over a glass of their wine.
- Paradise Springs Winery Yoga & Wine in Paradise, Vinyasa class taught by eat.YOGA.drink open to all levels and followed by a glass of Paradise Spring wine.
Yoga and Wine Tasting Events at Wineries & Cideries in the Shenandoah Valley
- Briede Family Vineyards Yoga in the Vines, yoga session followed by a glass of wine and 10% off bottle purchases.
- Brix & Columns Vineyards Yoga & Wine, an hour of yoga on the winery premises with Rachel Hupp, followed by a delicious glass of wine.
To experience Virginia wine country in new and exciting ways, whether horseback riding, enjoying gourmet wine-paired dinners with famed chefs, participating in vineyard yoga retreats, fly fishing or touring Virginia wineries, be sure to check out what new W&C Experiences we are offering.
A resident of Albemarle County, CATHERINE MALONE has written for Wine & Country since its inception.
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