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Passions, Poses and Pours

Jan Morgan-Swegle

Each of us has something that we love to do or experience that makes us more than happy, that wakes up the passion inside of us and makes us want to share what we love with others. So it goes without saying that when you find your passion—your true calling, you have to act on it and make it so. That’s exactly what Amy Burkhardt did in July, when she opened up Unwined on the Square in Leland.

Amy has two passions. One is bringing people together, and the other is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s the attraction of Unwined on the Square. It’s a yoga studio and wine lounge.

But before you start wondering how anyone can hold a glass of wine while doing the “Tree” pose or “Downward, Facing Dog,” let me explain.

Amy and her husband Brian lived in Wake Forest and opened their first wine bar there four years ago. At the same time, their daughter, Jana, was training to become a certified Yoga instructor. Amy is a wine enthusiast and she knows that enjoying wine is a very social thing. “Wine brings people together,” she said. “People like to sample it, talk about how it tastes to them, and share their knowledge with others. I started to think that certain aspects of physical activity do the same thing. People like to walk and exercise with other people who understand how important it is to be active and stay healthy.”

Once her daughter got her teaching certification, Amy asked her is she wanted to join the family wine business, but bring a whole new dimension to it—wine and yoga.

“I’m always looking for fun, new concepts to try,” Amy explained. “I took two good sources of things that people enjoy and fused them together. Instead of meeting people in a yoga class and going your separate ways after the class is finished, now you can do an hour session of yoga and then meet with your friends after class and enjoy a glass of wine. I think it stretches that hour of relaxing positive endorphins you get when you exercise into additional time to keep stress at a minimum.”

But why Leland? Amy smiled as she looked around at the polished gray floor and sleek wine box tables placed across from a comfy couch. She said, “Gary Vidmar, the Executive Director of Economic Development for Leland, played a big part in getting us here. My husband and I like going to the beach. Like so many people, we wanted to retire and be near water. Plus, people from up North are flooding into Leland and I knew that the demand for this type of concept would be high in this market. Wilmington seemed too saturated with wine bars and it was too busy. Leland has a relaxed atmosphere. We are located close to several main highways, so people from all over the county can come and enjoy what we have to offer, and the Chamber of Commerce is taking major steps to revitalize this area. All things considered; this is an ideal location.”

Amy is an attorney turned small business owner and her husband is in supply chain management. Amy selects the wine they offer while her husband enjoys getting to know the local beer.

In order to keep her wine selection fresh, Amy buys from small, organic family-owned vineyards, which are either certified organic or are practicing organic farming, from all over the world. Visiting the wine part of the business, you will find an excellent selection of moderately priced wines. I picked up a white and a red wine. The white was a 2020 bottle of Pozzan Chardonnay from California’s Russian River Valley area. It was a subtle yet refreshing wine that would pair well with many types of food. The wine had an unmistakable scent of ginger with floral accents.

The red wine was a 2017 South African Cabernet from Noble Hill Vineyards. This wine was a show stopper! Filled with rich, deep aromas of earth tones and dark berries, this wine is something I would serve with a “meat meal.” It was strong from start to finish and stayed consistent with what you would expect from the Cabernet grape.

Wine, like yoga, has a long history. Each has different styles, origins and complexity. Some people enjoy domestic white wine more than an imported red; similarly, some people say that yoga is about spiritual balance and connection with a greater power, while still others say it is a form of exercise that focuses on breathing, balance and relaxation.

The name Yoga comes from the base word “yuj” in Sanskrit, and means to unite. Sanskrit is a classical language originating in South Asia and is the sacred language of Hinduism. In the Hindu faith, Yoga has been described as a practice to control the senses and the mind. Early Hindu texts suggest that there are four types of Yoga—“Bhakti” meaning devotion, “Jnana” translating to knowledge, “Karma,” or action and “Dhyana” the act of concentration. The Yoga that many people practice today is most closely related to “Dhyana.”

Amy and her team offer a variety of classes in the mornings. On Monday, you can try Gentle Yoga and Meditation from 9:30 to 10:30. Tuesday is a Vinyasa Flow class starting at 9:30. On Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:30, you can do Slow Power Flow, and then come back on Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 for Yin Yoga. And, if you still need more, there’s Vinyasa Flow, on Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 and again on Saturday from 9 to 10.

If your mornings are too busy for Yoga, stop in later! You can do Vinyasa on Monday evening from 6 to 7, Gentle Yoga and Meditation on Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30, Flow and Yin on Wednesday from 6 to 7, or Foundations of Alignment on Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30.

In September, Amy and her team will begin offering workshops on Sundays. The first will be a Yoga Basics series for anyone brand new to yoga or coming back to it after some time away. According to Amy, “Even those that have been attending classes for some time can benefit from a more detailed instruction on alignment to enhance their practice. Workshops will be interspersed with Power, Pastry & Prosecco classes a couple times a month!”

Unwined is a bright place with a large yoga studio, a small bar area plus inside and patio seating. Located 2163 Britton Road, #120, in the Gateway District (take Village Road to Lee Drive, turn left and then make a quick right onto Britton Road.)

The patio is hidden from the street by a beautiful water feature wall and tables with large umbrellas inviting you to relax with some wine and friends. Amy offers a variety of live musical styles that you can enjoy on the patio on weekends until 9 pm.

Find your wine and yoga passions at Unwined on the Square! Call Amy at 910-408-1830 for information on the wine she carries and the yoga classes she offers. Who knows, maybe you can do the Tree pose while holding a glass of wine—I’m willing to find out—are you?


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