At an absurd press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon, the President of the United States took a break from saying that white supremacists and neo-nazis are “very fine people” to do the other thing he does best: promote his own properties and products. “I have a house in Charlottesville,” he told the assembled reporters as he stepped away from the podium. “I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States that's in Charlottesville.” According to the winery itself, however, this is just another alternative fact.
A legal disclaimer on the winery’s website (whose homepage is plastered with Thomas Jefferson quotes— will those come down next?) says the Virginia vineyard “is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.” But before you rush down to Charlottesville to pick up some merlot, it’s worth noting that “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC.”
As the story goes, the Donald purchased Kluge Estate Winery in 2011. He kept founder and former owner Patricia Kluge on board for a little while, but eventually told her she was fired and sold the business off to his son. For what it’s worth, the site boasts that Eric “was the ‘Rising Star’ recipient of Wine Enthusiast’s 2013 Wine Star Awards.” Thankfully, someone else is in charge of the actual winemaking.
Regardless of who owns it, Trump Winery is not one of the hugest wineries around. In fact, it’s not even the largest on the east coast. And if the 174 Yelp reviews netting a 3.5 star average are any indication, people are not saying the wine is really tremendous. A sampling of reviews published before Trump’s press conference indicate that the white wines on their tasting menu are “average,” and “there are far better wines just up the road at Blenheim.” It seems Trump Winery mostly relies on branding to cover for a lack of quality and substance. Who could have guessed?