Make America Grape Again: A Visit To The Trump Winery

04.11.16 3 years ago 8 Comments

I was perusing the wine section of my local Kroger, looking for the cheapest red I could find, when I saw a bottle selling for $26.59 with a label that read: “TRUMP.” Surely, I thought, it couldn’t be that Trump. Because this bottle was a local wine and why on Earth would Donald Trump come to Virginia to start a winery?

I looked it up and lo and behold, it turned out that there was a Trump Winery, purchased by Donald Trump in 2011, in Charlottesville. As it turns out, Donald Trump is my local winemaker, with his vines growing just an hour northwest of my house.

Could Trump’s wine be any good? Or was it “some $5 wine” like President Obama recently said? And could I drink it without letting my politics affect the tasting notes? I longed to find out for myself. So I took a day trip down to Charlottesville to check out the Trump Winery in person.

I was accompanied by my friends Andrew and Addison, both of whom work at the nearby University of Virginia. Andrew is a full-fledged wine connoisseur. We met in 2008 when we spent a semester in Europe studying humanities and literature. Before I went on the trip, I was a bit of a teetotaler. By the time I left Europe, I was anything but. Andrew was partly to thank (or blame) for that transformation.

Now, as a graduate student/teaching assistant, he has several memberships to Charlottesville wineries, cideries, and breweries–along with an extensive glass collection from his visits. Charlottesville has become a bit of a hub for wine in the past decade or so, and every time I visit Andrew, he takes me to another winery. Like the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the tastings are always spectacular. Still, knowing what we know of Trump, it was hard to believe that the string of very pleasant wine outings would continue.

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