The Kluge winery in Virginia was once valued at $70 million. Since the farm is in foreclosure, there was an auction in Charlottesville Virginia, where people were happily buying the winery's well-known Kluge Albemarle Red for the amazing price of $45 a case. The most surprising development of the day was definitely Donald Trump's successful bid for the whole vineyard for the bargain price of $6.2 million dollars.
The vineyard went into foreclosure in October, when the Farm Credit Bank out of Virginia got the farm for $19 million, trying to set up a market price at an auction where they were the sole bidder. The $35 million debt made between 2007 and 2009 was in default; owners William Moses and Patricia Kluge could no longer afford it.
Donald Trump has gotten a good deal for his $6.2 million; he gets the most modern winery in Virginia, as well as all the un-bottled wine that they have, which might eventually have his name on it. He also gets labels and their existing trademarks in the deal. his plans, related through a representative, including continuing making wine there. The winery averages over 30,000 cases a year. The representative said that the wine should do well with the Trump name on it, as his name signifies wealth and luxury for many people.
Both owners are looking to speak with Trump about continuing to work with the winery in the future. Patricia Kluge has been friends with Trump for over 20 years, and they both seem very happy that he will now own the company. The winery was their baby, and they see continued excellence from the vineyard under the management of Trump and their continued involvement. They are both very happy that Trump has decided to trust them to continue to run the facility.
The auction continues on Friday, and Trumps representatives will continue purchasing goods, which includes winemaking equipment. A Trump rep did say that this was not as important as the Thursday auction, because equipment can be bought anywhere and anytime. The important thing was to secure the vineyard and the un-bottled wine and trademarks, as well as the labels.
As is typical with Trump, he says that the winery is not that important to him; it is mostly the buildings and land that he is interested in. He spoke of the great deal he got on the estate, and emphasized that he would keep former owners Kluge and Moses on to run the company. Trump went on to say, “I’m really interested in good real estate, not so much in wine. This place had a $28 million mortgage on it and I bought it for $6.2 million. It’s a Trump deal.” The facility will continue to make wine for the foreseeable future, even though it is mostly just a real estate deal fro Trump.
Many observers believe that the vineyard went into foreclosure because of Kluge's free spending to make the facility as modern as possible. She was the face of the winery since it's inception, and her career has been marked by many stunts designed to draw attention to the winery. Kluge is a colorful woman with a colorful past, including hanging out with royalty and winning a settlement between $15 million and $1 billion dollars in a divorce from the late John Kluge. He was at one time the most wealthy man in America. Trump and Kluge are both really good at getting media attention; they should work well together to get the winery as much exposure as they need to be a successful and thriving winery.
H. Brown writes for the barista training blog. It's an hobby blog that offers free tips to help people become a barista and find the best barista courses. She worked for 5 years in Starbucks as corporate trainer and workshop leader.