US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has used a press conference in Florida to promote his Virginia wines as the equal of any in the world.

Rival candidate for the Republican presdiential nomination, Marco Rubio, acccused Donald Trump of failing at several businesses, including Trump steaks.

So, Trump used his press conference in Florida this week to show off his commercial wares to journalists.

  • Scroll down to see a clip of the press conference

He spoke for just under one minute about the businesses, and in particular his Virginia winery, where he produces Trump wines.

‘It’s the largest winery on the East Coast,’ he said. ‘I own it 100%, no mortgage and no debt.

‘It was John Kluge’s estate. He died [but] he built one of the great vineyards of all time. I mean, there’s nothing like it. It’s 2,000 acres (809 hectares) in Charlottesville, Virginia, right next to the Thomas Jefferson memorial and we’re very proud of it.

‘We make as good a wine as you can get anywhere in the world. I know the press is extremely honest so I won’t offer them any, but if they want they can take a bottle home.’

Trump’s full speech – listen from around 6mins 30seconds to hear the steak and wine comments.

Virginia wines have been gaining increasing recognition in fine wine circles.

Trump winery includes a hotel and wine tasting room, and has around 81 hectares of vines planted within the Monticello American Viticultural Area.

The estate produces sparkling, red and white wines. White grape varieties planted include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Viognier, and red varieties are the classic Bordeaux grapes of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

In December 2015, Trump was widely reported by US media as saying that he does not drink alcohol, in part following the death of his older brother, who he described as an alcoholic.


  • Lisa Carley

    I did a tasting of some of Trump’s wines in a USA Today video. It’s a bit snarky, and not meant to be serious criticism. I was curious as to what I would taste.

  • Doug Anderson

    I do admire your British open-mindedness and diligence in pursuing this story. However, in light of The Donald’s incessant doubling-down on each of his past pronouncements, I find personal joy in the disinterment of past skeletons. The Wikipedia page for Trump Winery sheds more light on the Trumpian ethics of “Making A Great Deal”, all entirely legal, but leaving a long and persistent finish of barnyard.

    And on to the more current political debate, no need to worry. The Donald’s continuing bloviations assert that The Great Wall of Trump “will have a ‘big, beautiful door’ in it, so the ‘good ones’ can come on in”. [He also graciously accepted Ben Carson’s endorsement by noting that the Doctor was “one of the good ones”.]

  • Andrew Jefford

    I visited this estate earlier this year and was told by the (very pleasant) staff that it was indeed Eric Trump who owned and ran it, and not Donald. “In the very beginning Mr Trump was involved in land acquisition, but once business planning came into effect it was Eric who took over.”

    The general understanding locally was that this was because a winery owner cannot also own a casino, and Donald Trump was considered to be a casino owner. However further enquiries with the estate revealed that Trump had sold his casino interests (though the casinos kept the Trump name) so he could in fact legally be the owner of the winery. Eric certainly runs it.

    The Kluges got into financial difficulties with the estate, and the bank foreclosed on 2010. No 2011 was produced, as there was a lot to disentangle. It was finally sold in semi-tangled form at auction in April 2012 and purchased by Donald Trump (who had been a friend of Patricia Kluge’s) at something of a distressed price.

    Of more interest to current political debate is the fact that all the work on the estate is done by Mexicans. “We pay legal workers to come over from Mexico for nine months of the year,” winemaker Jonathan Wheeler told me. There are 19 of them, and they come over on the H-2A prgram (“a temporary agricultural program that allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature”). Will they be able to scale the Great Wall of Trump which will stretch across the desert in the future? And is it fair for the owner to ask his workers to pay for the wall? Just how grateful is Mr Trump for their work on his estate?

  • Andy Whiteman

    Find it hard to understand why you give Mr Trump any space in your publication. The man is stirring up hatred, racial tensions and violence. Very disappointed that you considered this to be “interesting” or “informative”. God help us all should he get elected.

  • Doug Anderson

    Reluctant as I am to acknowledge anything of value in the Trump organization’s response to Decanter’s enquiry, it actually does help. It seems I’ve jumped the gun, in pointing to the fact-free nature of The Donald’s bloviations. I hadn’t even checked Wikipedia, or perused the Trump Winery website.

    A) The winery is owned by Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, it was a gift from The Donald to his son Eric.
    B) The 1300-acre property, including the vineyard of “nearly 200 acres of French vinifera varieties”, is owned indeed by Donald Trump. The ownership of the remaining almost 700 acres of the “close to 2000 acres” estate has not been disclosed, and just might be illusory.

    None of my comments have been intended to disparage Trump Winery, its products, or Virginia wines generally. However, I do take notice of Eric Trump’s presence, along with the rest of The Donald’s progeny, at recent campaign events. As you might say in the UK, this may be simply another confirmation of “knowing which side your bread is buttered on”.

    I also apologize for my Americanisms, since my spell check does not speak the Queen’s English. As to my American quick-draw proclivities, I cite the Second Amendment right to keep and arm bears.

  • Thanks Doug for your comment. Decanter did enquire to the ownership, as Eric Trump is Donald’s son. For clarification here is their response: ‘The property is wholly owned by Mr. Donald J.
    Trump. I hope that helps.’

  • Doug Anderson

    Come on now Chris, do your homework. It’s hard to believe that such a respected UK organization as Decanter could be taken in by The Donald. Here in the US of A, most of us who are not “low information voters”, immediately discount anything from Trump’s mouth as horsepucky. A cursory fact check reveals this from the bottom of the Trump Winery’s Terms & Conditions page:
    Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.

  • Nugsley Addams

    Did you know people who support Donald Trump for president believe Barack Obama ordered the shootings at Sandy Hook and Aurora? They actually believe that and talk openly about it online. Google it. Read the patriot-freedom blogs. Read the 2nd amendment blogs. Read the tea party, prepper and rapture blogs. Read the comments and archives. Read the message boards and learn for yourself what Donald Trump supporters really believe.