In 2011, Donald Trump acquired the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard at a foreclosure auction for $6.2 million. The 526ha Virginia winery (which his son Eric now owns) is located not far away from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Donald Trump does not drink alcohol, and briskly summarised his involvement with the words: ‘ I’m really interested in good real estate, not so much in wine. This place had a $28 million mortgage on it, and I bought it for $6.2 million!’ Now with the registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC in place, the estate produces wines that have generally received a lukewarm reception. Verdicts range from ‘mediocre’ (a 2016 VinePair taste test) to sommelier-blogger Erin Scala’s ingeniously pragmatic speculation in The Washington Post that the wines’ ‘association with [Donald Trump] is likely to keep them off wine lists they otherwise belong on’.
Making Kluge great again