Sales are soaring at the Trump Winery

Thursday, 20. October 2016 - 14:45

Sales of Trump Winery wines are up by 55% year-on-year, according to Kerry Woolard, general manager of the Virginia winery.

The news comes as Donald Trump’s eponymous brand is having a difficult time in other categories. According to a recent report in the New York Times, consumers are cancelling reservations with Trump properties, cutting up Trump neck ties, and returning clothes bearing the Ivanka Trump label, in protest at the behaviour Donald Trump has displayed during his campaign to become President of the United States.

While the report notes that it’s “difficult to measure the economic impact of such protests on Mr Trump’s far-flung businesses,” the Times found evidence that bookings for Trump hotels made online at Hipmunk had fallen by as much as 58% during the first half of 2016, compared to the same period a year ago. Consumers who spoke to the New York Times expressed disgust at Donald Trump's behaviour during his campaign, from his remarks about women to his attacks on the Khan family, whose son Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq.

According to the same article, however, Woolard reported that not only are Trump Winery sales increasing, but the winery is attracting customers who have headed there immediately after attending a Trump rally. Woolard confirmed to Meininger’s that sales had increased by 55%.

The Trump Winery, located in Charlottesville Virginia, was originally created by socialite Patricia Kluge. After she defaulted on loans in 2011, the property was listed at auction for $100m. The Washington Post reported that Donald Trump acquired it for $6.2m plus $1.7m for equipment and inventory, and then refurbished the property. The winery is noted for the quality of its sparkling wines.

Donald Trump has referred to Trump Winery during his presidential campaign, claiming that it is the “largest winery on the East Coast” which he owns “100%”. In fact, although Trump Winery is the largest wine property in Virginia by acreage (although not the biggest producer), it is not as large as the biggest wineries in New York state. And the winery is registered to son Eric Trump, and is “not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates,” according to the legal disclaimer on the Trump website. In an earlier interview with Meininger’s, Woolard said that “Eric is very involved with the winery, but it’s at the macro level,” adding that he visits about once a month.

“We generate millions in revenue and millions more in taxes,” Woolard told the Republican Convention when she addressed it in July 2016. “It would not have happened without Donald Trump and his family. Donald Trump has taught me that a person’s own work ethic and drive are the only limitations to success.”

Trump, who has been consistently criticized for failing to prepare for his debates with Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton, does not drink wine.  

The presidential election will be decided on Tuesday, 8 November 2016. The New York Times gives Donald Trump an 8% chance of winning.

Felicity Carter

Our article on the Trump Winery can be found here.