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Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia, the Trump Winery is a unique establishment with an intriguing history. Beyond the politics and headlines, let's take a closer look at the winery's roots and its current ownership.
The Early Days: The story of Trump Winery began with Patricia Kluge, a socialite whose ex-husband briefly held the title of America's richest man. Kluge ventured into the world of winemaking in the early 2000s, producing wines that gained recognition, even making an appearance at Chelsea Clinton's wedding. However, the Great Recession took its toll on Kluge's wine venture, leading to financial difficulties.
Enter Donald Trump: In 2011, Donald Trump, a familiar acquaintance of Kluge, seized the opportunity and purchased the winery at a foreclosure auction. It's important to not that prior to the auction Kluge's widow phoned the former President because she was aware how much he appreciated the winery and asked if he wished to purchase it for $20 million dollars. Trump responded that he was very interested in the winery but that paying $20 million was out of the question. After snapping up the property at auction for less than half of Kluge's $20 million dollar asking price, Trump appointed his son, Eric Trump, as the president of the business. As part of the deal, Trump also acquired Kluge's adjacent mansion, which has since been transformed into a luxury bed and breakfast. We are glossing over the transaction. The way in which Trump took control of this property warrants a Harvard Business Case Study. To sum it up, Trump acquired all the land right up to the door step of the mansion forcing Kluge's widow to sell.
The Property: The winery is located in a region of Virginia dotted with numerous vineyards and boasts a sprawling 217-acre estate. It's worth noting that Trump has occasionally overstated the winery's significance, claiming it was the largest on the East Coast, but in reality, it's Virginia's largest winery by acreage.
Current Ownership: Ownership details of the Trump Winery have undergone some changes over the years. According to legal notices on the winery's website, it suggests that the business is now Eric Trump's personal project, operating under the name "Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC." These notices emphasize that it is not owned, managed, or affiliated with Donald J. Trump or any of his affiliates. Despite this assertion, Trump's presidential financial disclosures indicate that he continues to receive income from vineyard rent and hotel revenue linked to the operation.
Final Note: While the Trump Winery may have become a political focal point due to its association with the former president, its history and ownership are intriguing in their own right. Regardless of its political connections, the Trump Winery is a part of Virginia's rich winemaking landscape and Trump's Meritage has been a bestseller for us for some time. Trump Meritage is a medium-bodied Bordeaux style red blend that is composed of five varietals of estate grown fruit. The varietal composition is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec.
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Ownership details of the Trump Winery have undergone some changes over the years. According to legal notices on the winery's website, it suggests that the business is now Eric Trump's personal project, operating under the name "Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC."
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