You cannot judge a wine, a winery or a wine region if you have not visited or tasted the wines.
Today I will share with you the origin of Trump Winery located in Monticello, Virginia. I will also review four Trump wines. We should not discuss politics on this post, only wine. It seems irresponsible and inconsiderate to dump on a winery because of politics. When you insult a Virginia winery, you are insulting not only the owner, but also the grape growers, winemaker, winery staff, and the wine region. That crosses a line which reflects poorly. We are better than that.
In 2011 I visited Virginia wine country (Dreaming of Virginia Wine). It was a magnificent time with many captivating wine tastings and wine related conversations. I’m excited about and for Virginia wineries and I discovered that there are some real gems. Wines easily recognizable as world class.
Yes, I am a fan of Virginia wine. Virginia has realized Thomas Jefferson's dream of producing fine wines from European vinifera. Quality is strong. My friend Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like has kept me engaged with the Virginia wine industry. He has graciously included me in many online Virginia wine tastings and conversations via #VAwinechat. And the reason for this post.
History of Trump Winery
In 2011 Donald Trump purchased the former Kluge Estate winery and vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia. Due to financial difficulties, the 776 acre property with a 195 acre vineyard planted in 1999 was in foreclosure. The Donald knows a good deal when he sees one and snapped up the property well below the appraised value. He purchased the remaining Kluge Estate properties the following year.
"It appears Mr. Trump has taken the first step toward making Virginia wine," Todd Haymore the state secretary of agriculture said. "We believe if he’s successful, he’ll help take Virginia wines to greater heights." Source: Washington Post, April 2011
The Winery Today
Eric Trump is president of Trump Winery. Eric oversees the winemaking, marketing, global distribution and sales. He is also the Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions for The Trump Organization, and responsible for all aspects of real estate development and deal flow, nationally and internationally. His is the guiding hand leading Trump Winery.
|Trump Tasting with Frank Morgan (left) and Jonathan Wheeler (right).|
Jonathan Wheeler is the Winemaker of Trump Winery.
Jonathan was with the original estate and has worked at the winery since 2006. He leads the sparkling wine program. Jonathan has worked as winemaker in Sonoma and Monterey, California, Marlborough, New Zealand and his home of Fingerlakes, New York.
Trump Winery is located in the foothills of the blue Ridge Mountains on a nearly 1,300 acre estate. It is located a few miles from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Planted to 195 acres of vinifera, There is space for another 40-45 acres potentially. Trump Winery has Virginia's largest vineyard, almost half of which is planted with Chardonnay.
Vineyards were planted in 1999 - 2001, 2003-2007.
The winery has over 50,000 square feet dedicated to state of the art winemaking, 100,000 gallon tank capacity and a 750 barrel wine cave. This is a true wine country destination with views of rolling hills, vines, a charming tasting room and outdoor terrace.
The recently renovated Albemarle Estate Bed and Breakfast at Trump Winery. Situated on a truly gorgeous property, with five guestrooms inside the house, amenities include the Jefferson master suite with his and hers bathrooms, a pool house and a cabin. Guests share the well appointed living room, library, bar, and manicured gardens all within view of the estate vineyard. Director of hospitality Derek Hunt said, “...we just want them to feel like they're at home.” Contact details below.
And the wines, what about the wines? I was impressed by these four Virginia wines and recommend them. The Trump Wines tasting was especially enticing because it started with two bottles of sparkling wine. I love a wine tasting that begins with sparkling wine.
Sparkling wines are thriving in Virginia. Of the 253 Wineries in Virginia, at least 21 are making sparkling wines. Sparkling wines are tasty, fun to drink and pair with almost any kind of food or occasion.
Virginia wine country should be on every wine enthusiasts must visit list. Its quality is obvious, its character diverse and changing. Has Mr. Trump remained committed to Virginia wine and is the wine any good? Yes, decidedly yes. Read on.
Trump Winery Tasting Notes
You can find Trump wines in stores and restaurants and you can purchase online.
1. Trump 2009 Blanc De Noir Sparkler $24
Lovely with apple, pear, off dry, terrific value, creamy, light yeast, tropical note, flavorful, good bubbles, creamy core, lively, used a little neutral oak for texture/mouth feel, my speed. 100% estate grown, 36 months on lees. The Chardonnay for the sparkling wine is harvested 2-3 weeks before the grapes used for the still wine. Typically at the beginning of August.
2. Trump 2009 Sparkling Rose $28
An aromatic sparkler, flavorful, with raspberry into strawberry, rhubarb, crisp, nectarine, yeast, good bubbles, good focus, savory/sweet with minerality on the medium finish. Excellent wine. 92% Chardonnay, 8% Pinot Noir.
3. Trump 2014 Chardonnay $16
A solid Virginia Chardonnay, with ginger, pear, white peach, smoothness, easy drinking, hint of nuttiness, not heavy...balanced. Grapes were harvested on September 1, 2014. Aged 90% in stainless steel and 10% in new and one year old French oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation.
4. Trump 2014 Meritage $20
Liked the nose, savory dark fruit, good structure, focused to middle, tasty finish, big like on this wine. Pair with meat. 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot, 11% Malbec. Drank well over three days.
I was impressed by these wines. They are beautifully made and delivered a great deal of pleasure. Prices are set appropriately and are offer good value. My wife and I have even ordered the Trump Sparkling wines for special occasions at home. Yes, they are that good and they shipped to us quickly and securely.
I strongly encourage you to add Trump wines to your list of go to and must try wines. When in Virginia, add the Trump Albemarle Estate B&B and Winery to your wine country destinations. You can leave your politics at home.
Sincere thank you to Trump Winery, Jonathan Wheeler and Frank Morgan.
Albermarle Estate Bed and Breakfast
355 Albemarle House Dr. , Charlottesville, VA , 22902, US 434-977-4001
Trump Winery Tasting Room
3550 Blenheim Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Tasting Room Hours
Open year round 11am-5pm daily. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. Patio closes 30 minutes after close. Full menu is offered until 5pm