Harvest time is a special time of the year for wineries. It usually starts from mid-September and goes through October, depending on weather. It’s the time of year when the tender loving care paid to the vine hopefully pays off in a bounty of fruit.
Black Ankle Vineyards owners Sarah O’Herron & Edward Boyce planted their first grapes in 2003 at their winery in Mount Airy, Maryland. Their operation has grown from seven and a half fruit-bearing acres to 22 with seven red varieties of grapes and four white.
Black Ankle Vineyards is the culmination of a long-time dream of founders Boyce and O’Herron. The more they learned about what goes into making a bottle of wine, the more fascinating the whole process became. When they decided to look for an alternative career, their fascination with wine-making led them to establishing Black Ankle.
They have searched for the methods of production that Boyce says are gentlest to the fruit from harvesting and sorting to readying the crushed fruit for fermentation.
For the red grapes, they use “cannonball” tanks to transfer red grapes to the fermentation tanks, allowing them to fall into the stainless steel tanks instead of being pumped.
Selling their first bottles in 2008, Black Ankle Vineyards has won Maryland Governor’s Cup, Maryland Winemasters’ and Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition awards.