When we found a promising vineyard site on Black Ankle Road, we were immediately intrigued by the name. Our consultations with local historians and long-time residents led us towards two likely theories about how the road got its name: the road remained a dirt and mud track long after other nearby roads were more rigorously maintained, so the name may simply stem from the muddy feet and boots that passersby were left with on rainy days. Local lore also holds that an old Native American trail called the Black Ankle Trail passed through the area not far from our road on the way to what is now Rockville.
While muddy roads and old trails have very little to do with making wine, the name Black Ankle sent our minds towards imagining what thousands of years of winemakers must have looked like after stomping grapes during harvest each year. While we take advantage of some modern advances like grape crushers and presses to take the place of stomping feet, we make our wines in the old traditional style in order to allow the grapes to develop into wines that express the soil and climate in which they were grown.
In our minds, the name Black Ankle Vineyards is a reminder of the generations of traditional winegrowers who have come before us, and our way of expressing our appreciation for all they have taught us about how wines should be made.