Vines and Vinyasa

A growing number of wineries are going Zen, combining yoga classes with wine tasting for a unique wine and unwind experience.

At first blush, yoga and wine might not appear to have much in common. One is an ancient practice that trains the mind and body to attain peace. The other is a relaxing potion known to relieve stress and release inhibitions. But experts claim that when the two are combined, the experience is divine.

“The openness and fluidity that occur through yoga automatically expands the body’s sensory perceptions,” says Christina Newman, yoga instructor at South Coast Winery in Temecula, California. “Tastes are heightened, mouthfeel is enhanced, fragrances deepened.”

Indeed, a growing number of yoga and wine events are occurring across the country from Niagara to Temecula and everywhere in between. Here are a few to try.

Yoga and Wine

Salado Wine Seller, Salado, Texas

Winemaker June Ritterbusch of Salado Wine Seller believes mindful meditation in the presence of her wines may enhance the quality of her product. She hosts “Yoga and Wine” on the second Thursday of every month in the back room of her store. The event features a full hour of yoga followed by a wine tasting and a plate of cheese and fruit. Yoga and Wine costs $18 per person and $30 per couple.

Yoga in the Vineyard

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

The brainchild of yoga practitioner Alana Clark, Yoga in the Vineyard offers participants a unique peek behind the vines at wineries including Château des Charmes, Southbrook Vineyards and Flat Rock Cellars. Events cost $75 per person and include one hour of guided yoga followed by a winery tour and tasting.

Vino Vinyasa

South Coast Winery, Temecula, California

Unlike other yoga and wine events where sipping follows stretching, South Coast Winery’s Vino Vinyasa is an 80-minute sensory journey integrating the flow of yoga with specially selected wines. The instructor matches the wines’ characteristics with each of the body’s chakras (energy centers). Movements that focus on the root chakra, for example, are paired with a rich and earthy red wine, while a light sparkling wine is paired with movements that awaken the crown chakra. Events are held weekly, subject to availability, and cost $35 per person.

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