Trump name boosts fledgling Va wine industry
Bloomberg Businessweek - Oct 11th 2011, 09:04
Virginia's fledgling wine industry got a global boost Tuesday from Donald Trump's millions of dollars, his celebrity and his luxury properties worldwide where wine from his new vineyard will be a staple.
Trump and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell formally opened a winery near the presidential estates of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe on Tuesday.
Trump paid about $8 million for the 770-acre winery and the equipment on it near Charlottesville at public auction in April from millionaire socialite Patricia Kluge, said Virginia Agriculture Secretary Todd Haymore.
"We are building and will continue to build something, I think that will continue to put Virginia on the map in terms of wines and champagnes and everything," Trump told a crowd of wine enthusiasts, local business and finance leaders and the politically connected. "This will be one of the great wineries anywhere in the world -- not in this country but anywhere in the world."
The estate in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains will be managed jointly by Trump's son, Eric, and Kluge.
Haymore said it's an unprecedented advance for Virginia's nascent wine industry, ranked fifth nationally behind California, Oregon, Washington and New York. But its share nationally is minor. Even in Virginia, wines from within the state have only about a 5 percent share of the market, Haymore said.
But Virginia's wine industry has grown from six vineyards in 1979 to about 200 now, McDonnell said.
"Here's the message: watch out, California. We're coming on," McDonnell said. "This has always been the epicenter of the Virginia wine industry. It's just been in the last four years that it's really taken off like this."
Eric Trump said the construction at the winery and care for the vineyards would produce several hundred new jobs.
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