Trump Buys A Winery

Trump Buys A Winery

Donald Trump can now add another line to his resume in addition to real estate developer, casino owner, reality television host and Presidential aspirant: vintner.

The billionaire New Yorker purchased the Kluge Estate Winery—a well-known, 2,000-acre Virginia property that was foreclosed—for a reported $6.2 million.

The winery was founded in 1999 on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains by Patricia Kluge, wife of billionaire John Kluge, who died last year. Local vintners had criticized Kluge for overspending; there were reports of overpriced consultants and vast expenditures, without establishing an actual market for the wines. In January, Bank of America filed suit against Kluge, claiming she defaulted on her loans, and foreclosed on the property.

Previously, Kluge and her third husband tried to sell the estate for $100 million, but were not successful. And last year, they turned to auctioning off items, including jewelry, Faberge plates, antiques and designer clothes.

Trump apparently had his eye on the winery for some time. According to published reports, he began buying up small parcels of the estate, piece by piece, until he owned virtually the entire lot, up to the front door of the Albemarle House. Kluge has asked for $16 million for the red-brick, 23,538-square-foot mansion, which resembles an English lord’s country home, but Trump has balked at that asking price.

As part of the sale of the winery, Kluge and her current husband will remain on the staff to run the operation. Online reports state that Trump will change the name of the winery, replacing Kluge with, well—Trump, of course.

Published on April 12, 2011