I was a little apprehensive to try Trump winery. Donald, as a man that admittedly does not drink alcohol, I wondered what passion and skill he could be bring to his wine making. Wine is an art, not just a business.
Trump Winery in Virginia located at 3550 Blenheim Rd in historical Charlottesville was formerly known as Kluge Winery and is located on the Monticello wine trail. As the name would indicate it is near Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson) and the Monticello winery. (Do not get confused with the Jefferson winery that is also in the area that has no association with Thomas Jefferson's estate except he did broker the sale of the land to an Italian viticulturist in hopes to further his dream of a native Virginia wine production. This winery was also reviewed)
The Trump name does clash with the southern old world charm of the area and regional wines. In silent defiance the locals still refer to it as the Kluge estate and there seemed less official state signage for this winery. It has much more of a polished upscale and slick interior. The store is laden with a plethora of gold Trump insignia merchandise which is very out of keeping with the other more understated old world charm of the other regional wineries. The wine labels emphasize the Trump name instead of local historical figures or events like most of the other wineries.
The tasting room is very well set up with a lovely outdoor area and a vista. It was not the kind of
place to have the vineyard dog like most wineries have, but the facility (at least the outdoor part) was doggie friendly. Trump Winery did offer a small arrangement of simple food that could be served inside/outside. It was nothing gourmet ,but offered some substance to soak up the libations. The food was not homemade or local produce like Pippin Hill Winery offers, but more than a refrigerator full of cheese and charcuterie that most of the other better wineries offer, allowing for impromptu picnics with their wines. The staff as a whole seemed very knowledgeable and stayed on point, educating the consumer about the wines. I unfortunately had a person on their first week and it was clear that she was not only new to Trump winery, but also to wines, as she announced some very obvious facts like they were wisdom from the gods. But she was very lovely and everyone has a first week at work, so I made a point to eavesdrop on some of the other tastings going on around me and found the staff very skilled, more so than in the other wineries. It is one thing to know facts, it is another to share them in a way that entices the audience and draws them in. One gentleman there must have been an actor and he combined his passion for theatrics with his love of wine and left his audience spell bound. I would give the service there very high marks.
The Kluge estate was about 1300 acres of beautiful property with less than 200 acres planted with grapes. It is located on a road lined with large estates. Kluge/Trump winery follows Jefferson's passion for the French Bordeaux and Champagne style wines. Not surprising their sparkling wines were very good and defiantly one of their strengths. There was not a bad one in the group. Of the 8 wines in the tasting three are sparkling wines.They also have a very interesting CRU which is 50% wine aged in rum barrels blended with 50% brandy. It was an interesting dessert option and unique to them, so well worth the try and its limited distribution makes for good gifts.
I would add this to the list of wineries to try, especially if you are a fan of sparkling wines. It does have a very different ambiance from the other Virginia wineries, but still a very pleasant one.
Unique Luxuries that Virginia offers, a continuing quest to share the local gems with my global luxury connoisseur following. Look for more upcoming features and Google already published ones under "Lorre White, Virginia Wineries, Luxuries"
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Lorre White, has been a international luxury marketing expert for 2 decades and is the founder of White Light Consulting an international luxury marketing consulting firm working with luxury brands to reach the world's wealthiest 1%. She is the founder of a luxury blog with an exclusive UHNW following www.LuxGuru.Typepad.com and the only internationally recognized luxury media personality “The Luxury Guru”. Lorre frequently contributes to luxury magazines globally, including having had her own monthly column in Portugal’s #1 rate luxury magazine. For more information just Google her. Twitter:@Lorre or sign up top left under the photo www.LuxGuru.Typepad.com
Links To Virginia Winery Articles by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru"
Afton Mountain Winery: Lorre White "The Luxury Guru" visits Afton Mountain Vineyard in Virginia. http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/lorre-white-the-luxury-guru-visits-afton-mountain-vineyard-in-virginia.html
Barboursville Winery: Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru" says Virginia's Barboursville Winery is a 'Must See' http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/lorre-white-the-luxury-guru-says-virginias-barboursville-winery-is-a-must-see.html
Barren Ridge Winery: Lorre White "The Luxury Guru" visits Barren Ridge Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/lorre-whit-the-luxury-guru-visits-barren-ridge-winery-in-the-shenandoah-valley.html
Cardinal Point Winery: Cardinal Point wines were terrific says Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru" http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/cardinal-point-wines-were-terrific-says-lorre-white-the-luxury-guru.html
Early Mountain Winery: Steve Case, the Ambassador for Virginia Wines by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru" http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/11/steve-case-the-ambassador-for-virginia-wines-by-lorre-white-the-luxury-guru.html
Flying Fox Winery: The Flying Fox Wines get a good review from "The Luxury Guru", Lorre White http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/11/the-flying-fox-wines-get-a-good-review-from-the-luxury-guru-lorre-white.html
Glass House Winery: Lorre White "The Luxury Guru" says Glass House Winery On The Monticello Wine Trail is wonderfully quirky place and a must visit for wine enthusiasts. http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/11/lorre-white-the-luxury-guru-says-glass-house-winery-on-the-monticello-wine-trail-is-wonderfully-quirky-place-and-a-must-vis.html
Jefferson Winery: Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru" rates the Jefferson winery as a SKIP. http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/lorre-white-the-luxury-guru-rates-the-jefferson-winery-as-a-skip.html
King's Family Winery: Lorre White visits King Family Vineyards in Virginia. http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/09/lorre-white-visits-king-family-vineyards-in-virginia.html
Pippin Hill Winery: Pippin Hill Winery in Virginia gets good marks from Lorre White,"The Luxury Guru".http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/pippin-hill-winery-in-virginia-gets-good-marks-from-lorre-whitethe-luxury-guru.html
Pollack Winery: "The Luxury Guru", Lorre White, Give A Neutral Review To Pollack Winery In Virginia.http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/11/the-luxury-guru-lorre-white-give-a-neutral-review-to-pollack-winery-in-virginia.html
Trump Winery: Virginia's Trump Winery reviewed by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru"http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/virginias-trump-winery-reviewed-by-lorre-white-the-luxury-guru.html
Veritas Winery: Veritas Virginia Winery visited by Lorre White, "The Luxury Guru". http://luxguru.typepad.com/lorre_white_the_luxury_gu/2013/10/veritas-virginia-winery-visted-by-lorre-white-the-luxury-guru-.html