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Connecting Land to the Washington County Community

Abingdon Vineyards’ new owners credit Southern hospitality for decision to relocate from California.

By Kari Kynard Ridge on August 6, 2019

Abingdon VA
Abingdon / Ryan Pavone/Abingdon Vineyards

Loren and Elizabeth Gardner say it was the friendly people they met in Washington County that led them to move here from California and buy Abingdon Vineyards last year.

“We had the warmest welcome when we visited,†Loren Gardner says. “People were genuine and had a  sincere care for the people around them. ‘Southern hospitality’ at its finest.”

Here’s to New Noshing in Washington County, VA

The vineyard is located on 45 acres along the South Holston River, about a quarter mile off the Virginia Creeper Trail, with 13 acres of mature and producing vines of native North American grapes and European varietals. Abingdon Vineyards hosts year-round tastings with artisanal snacks and events such as blending classes with the cellar master, book club meetings, sip & paint parties, yoga classes, craft workshops and special dinners and concerts. The couple says it’s important to them to establish a family-friendly and dog friendly gathering place.

“We want our precious 18-month-old daughter, Ava Jean, to grow up with a connection to the land and community,†says Loren. “We also want to earn the respect of our community and create a place where everyone can come together for cultural experiences around wine, food, art, music and nature.”

Abingdon VA
Abingdon / Ryan Pavone/Abingdon Vineyards

They are bottling whites, reds and sweets and offer more than 20 wines, including “Game Changer,†a dry red blend that the couple sampled when they made the decision to buy the winery, which was founded nearly 20 years ago.

“We are going for more traditional-style wines, with more balance between structure, acid and tannins, giving a well-rounded palette,†Loren says.

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