"Saint Anne" in the Vineyard: A Russian Orthodox Chapel in North Carolina in Memory of Fallen Veterans of Afghan War

For many today, the war in Afghanistan is ancient history. But in the middle of the 1980s, it was one the most volatile spots on earth. All across a country still living in the Stone Age, global politics of a new world were being decided. And Kandahar was one of the most volatile places within Afghanistan. Locals said that legal authority in Kandahar ended after midday.

"Our objective was to destroy the caravans with weapons coming from Pakistan. We laid in wait along the mountain trails, where the caravans of the Afghan dushmani (enemies of the governing régime) would cross paths," explains former soldier of Spetsnaz special services Andrei Medvedev, who served a year and a half in Kandahar and is now a winegrower and winemaker in North Carolina. "Our helicopters would also patrol the mountain passes, and if they noticed a caravan, then they would begin to ‘go to work on it,’ and our armored vehicle groups would roll out on alert to destroy the enemy...


Capital at Play article: Going to the Chapel

Andrey Medvedev left his native country in order to establish the Russian Chapel Hills Winery in North Carolina. He planted more than just grape vines—he established a community.

From Biblical conversions of water to wine, to goblets of mead tossed by the sea into hungry gullets of Vikings; from sweetened port nipped over cigars, to the bottle of Pinot your aunt likes to pass around the Thanksgiving table; wine has united humanity for several centuries’ worth of libations. It’s the sweet honey that turns teetotalers into chummy winos, a tannic and tantalizing refreshment that guides enemies towards friendships. It’s what is surreptitiously sipped in business meetings and on first dates, sealing deals and cementing bonds. It is the communal building block of home dinners and international commerce alike....


MountainXpress article: Hidden in Plain Sight

Enjoy this article from Mountain Xpress, featuring Andrey and Russian Chapel Hills Winery.

Asheville is a city full of transplants that loves to celebrate its diversity. Yet the area’s third-biggest immigrant population goes mostly unnoticed.

In recent decades, thousands of Eastern Europeans from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and other countries have made their way to the U.S. seeking religious freedom, economic opportunities and the American dream.

Over time, some have settled here, bringing with them their various spiritual beliefs, traditions and cultures even as they worked to learn a new language and adjust to a vastly different culture. United by faith, family ties and a desire to succeed, members of this seldom-seen community continue that assimilation today...


WLOS Segment on Local Wineries

Watch the video below for WLOS's interview with Andrey Medvedev, owner of Russian Chapel Hills.

Traditional Art, Premiere Wine & Fresh Food for the 4th

Russian Chapel Hills Winery invites the public to celebrate July 4th with the premiere of a new wine, traditional wood-fired pizza prepared on site and an opening exhibit for Columbus artists Kathryn and Pavel Gulov.

Russian-born Pavel Gulov received formal training in fine arts at the high school level, a five-year program including oil painting, academic drawing and composition. He was influenced by the old masters including da Vinci, Rembrandt and Rubens. He continued his education for six additional years at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow, studying academic oil painting and drawing, frescoes, mosaics, and iconography along with art history and theology.

After earning a B.F.A. in graphic design from the University of Michigan, Kathryn Gulov continued her studies abroad, in Italy and in Russia where she was the first American student accepted in the Monumental Art department at St. Tikhon’s.

Russian Chapel Hills Winery has prepared, especially for this event, a new wine, “Tosca Heritage.” A classical, super-Tuscan blend of Merlot and Sangiovese grapes celebrates Italian wine-making. This medium to full-bodied wine leads with the flavors of sweet plums and cherries with hints of tobacco, oak and spice and a rich long finish.

Joe Laudisio, owner of Giardini Trattoria in Columbus, will prepare traditional Italian wood-fired pizzas selected to pair nicely with the wine.This Independence Day celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a special service in the St. Anna Chapel. Russian Chapel Hills Winery is located at 2662 Green Creek Drive in Columbus.

Dinner Showcases NC Wines

About an hour’s drive north of Greenville, an area once known for horses is quickly becoming known for wine.

There are five active wineries and 12 vineyards in the area just east of Tryon, North Carolina. Four of the wineries showcased their efforts during a progressive wine dinner Sunday.

The fundraising event was the brainchild of Suzanne Strickland, director of Our Carolina Foothills, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and tourism in the region. About 15 people met at Stone Soup restaurant in Landrum before being shuttled to four wineries, where wine-makers and restaurant owners discussed the wines and foods being served.

The dinner started with an appetizer at Russian Chapel Hills Winery in Columbus, North Carolina. Here, sushi from Umi in Hendersonville, North Carolina, was paired with a rosé made from estate-grown cabernet franc grapes. The wine was dry and quite light, with hints of strawberries and a touch of minerality. It paired well with the sushi...


Russian Bells Concerts

Russian Chapel Hills Winery will host traditional Russian bell-ringing performances Friday, Dec. 26 at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 5 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. All concerts will be held at the winery.

Gabriel Gaidenak will play the bilo, a standing framework of flat bells struck by mallet producing a resonant, meditative sound. The instrument, Medvedev said, represents a lost style used long ago for church services in Russia that is today, because of music enthusiasts, making a comeback. The sound of Russian bell-ringing has been called “music of the soul.”

Medvedev settled in Polk County in 2009, buying the former Green Creek Vineyards and opening his Russian Chapel Hills Winery. In 2014, St. Anna Chapel, a traditional 17th-century style Russian Orthodox chapel was built in the vineyard, adding to the scenic view from the tasting room. Consecrated by the Eastern Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), the chapel holds services at special times throughout the year and is available for weddings and special occasions. For information call 828-817-7260.

Veteran's Day Announcement

On Veteran's Day, November 11, Russian Chapel Hills Winery will hold a special service in memory of all the men who gave their lives in war. All veterans are invited.

There will be a service held at 3.00 p.m. on Veteran's Day in the St. Anna Chapel, an authentic Russian Orthodox Church, disassembled and brought to Polk County from Russia, and consecrated last September. After the memorial service all are invited to stay for a barbecue cook-out and wine tasting hosted by the winery owner, Andrey Medvedev. Medvedev, a veteran himself, served in the Russian Special Forces in Kandahar during the Soviet War in Afghanistan.

"Please join us on this day to celebrate the heroic sacrifices of the men and women who have gone to war and given all," Medvedev said.

The Russian Chapel Hills Winery is located just a short distance from the intersection of Hwy. 9 and Chesnee Road, at 2662 Green Creek Drive. For more information, call Medvedev at (828) 863-0540.

"Consecration of St. Anna Chapel at Russian Chapel Hills Vineyard"

The Chapel of St. Anna, the first Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA) in Polk County, was consecrated at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3. Metropolitan Hillarion, who is the first hierarch of all of ROCA, presided over this service other clergy present were Fr. Vasily from a ROCA in Canada as well as the priests from the local ROCA St. Nicolas.

The owner of Russian Chapel Hills Winery and Vineyards, Andrey Medvedev, considers the construction and ultimate consecration of St. Anna Chapel the biggest event in his life, which has even greater meaning considering his many accomplishments.

At the conclusion of the service, George Obolensky, a member of the Russian royal family, presented Andrey with an icon from the 17th century. His parents brought this priceless gift with them to Paris when they emigrated from Russia after the revolution.

Mr. Obolensky brought it to the United States. It is particularly symbolic, because it is the icon of St. Anna, the name of the chapel...


"Chapel is monument to faith, gratitude"

COLUMBUS — “If you really believe in something and want to do it, you have to pray for it.” That is the lesson Andrey Medvedev takes from the story of Anna in the apocryphal Gospel of James. Anna, known also as Ann(e), is traditionally referred to as the mother of the Virgin Mary. The Chapel of St. Anna in Polk County is built of notched cypress logs and constructed without nails. The dome and cross were crafted in Russia and shipped to the site for installation.

Medvedev is a man of faith and has a story to tell for why he is alive today when destiny almost decided otherwise...


Construction Continues on the Chapel

Construction continues on the Chapel, as seen in the images below...


Introducing Russian Chapel Hills Winery

With much prayer, we are introducing Russian Chapel Hills Winery, located in Columbus, North Carolina.  Our vineyard rests below the beautiful St. Anna Chapel, which is a part of the Eastern Diocese of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, under the Omophorion of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church.


New Winery is Ready!

We're looking forward to producing our first ever case of wine from the new winery.


Construction Begins!

We have commenced construction of our state-of-the-art winery. View pictures below.


Vineyards are Sanctified

The Priests of the Holy Saint Nicholas Church sanctified the vineyards of Russian Chapel Hills.



(828) 863-0540

2662 Green Creek Drive
Columbus, NC 28722

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