Uncorked: Are you ready for Donald Trump wines?
May 11, 2011 | 3744 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Donald Trump has been busy lately. He single-handedly brought about the big reveal of President Obama’s birth certificate, while on the verge of declaring or not declaring his candidacy for president. All this has been accomplished while refereeing his Celebrity Apprentice TV show, in which contestants compete to win money for their favorite charities.

Trump has his hands full this season, with TV attorney Star Jones and Ne Ne Leakes, one of the real housewives of Atlanta. They are not nice.

Now comes word that The Donald has purchased the Kluge (pronounced “Clu-gee”) Estate Winery and Vineyard located near Charlottesville, Va., adjacent to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

John W. Kluge and his third wife, Patricia Rose Gay Kluge, established the Kluge Estate in 1985. The pair set up housekeeping in a manse they named Albemarle House, situated in the midst of their 6,000-acre farm.

Forbes magazine named Kluge the 26th richest man in the world in 2004. Kluge is his wife’s senior by 35 years; he met Patricia at a party where she was the featured belly dancer. It was luv at first sight.

The new Mrs. Kluge abandoned belly dancing – along with posing naked and appearing in soft porn vignettes – for the role of society maven, culminating in her hosting a Palm Beach soiree for Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

The Kluges had to bow out of this soiree at the last minute when British tabloids published nude pictures of Patricia and ran features about her role in the racy movie The Nine Ages of Nakedness.

Alas, the couple divorced in 1991. Patricia received a large settlement, Albemarle House, the winery and vineyards. She was soon in trouble, having over-leveraged everything to increase production and distribute her wines worldwide even before the recession hit.

Chelsea Clinton selected a Kluge sparking wine to serve at her wedding. Last year, Kluge and her wines were highly touted by Kathie Lee on The Today Show, but Kluge was already underwater when this segment aired.

Kluge tried to raise capital by selling her personal possessions and jewels. She put Albemarle House on the market for $100 million. The house did not sell. It was reduced to $24 million. Ultimately, the banks foreclosed, and The Donald, ever the humanitarian, stepped in and snapped up the entire package for $6.4 million.

Trump plans to rebrand the wine using his name. Trump wines will be joining other Trump brands like Trump vodka and Trump fragrances.

Trump has stated he plans to keep Kluge and her current husband, William J. Moses, involved in the day-to-day operations of the winery – a surprising move for someone who fires with such aplomb each week on Celebrity Apprentice.

If Kluge and Moses stay, they, along with Trump, still have to resolve the issue of Virginia wine having limited market exposure and limited availability outside Virginia.

Of course, all that might change if The Donald wins the White House. When faced with the dilemma of serving a Robert Mondavi wine or one that bears his name at a state dinner, which one do you think this brilliant promoter of self would choose?

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