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Trump reopens winery in Virginia

imageVirginia’s fledgling wine industry is getting a boost from Donald Trump’s millions of dollars, his aggressively high profile and his luxury properties worldwide where wine from his new vineyard will be offered.

Trump and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell formally opened a winery near the presidential estates of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe on Tuesday.

He told a small gathering he intended to develop the property into 1 of the world’s great wineries.

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.

The estate in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains will be managed jointly by Trump’s son, Eric, and Kluge.

Eric Trump said the construction at the winery and care for the vineyards would produce several hundred new jobs.

 

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."

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