For the moment, three prominent pieces of Patricia Kluge’s wine and real estate empire belong to the banks that helped her and husband Bill Moses finance them. Today, Bank of America purchased the 45-room Albemarle House mansion once inhabited by the former winery owner at a foreclosure auction for $15.26 million. The bank holds a $22.8 million lien on the property.
However, the bank was not the sole bidder. Representing renowned businessman, Trump Organization CEO and "The Apprentice" star Donald Trump, local attorney Steve Blaine and business advisor Les Goldman cast bids between $2 million and $3.6 million before Bank of America purchased the property. Blaine and Goldman also made a $1 million opening bid at a Vineyard Estates foreclosure auction in January; locally based lienholder Sonabank purchased the property for $4.9 million. Trump reportedly has the right of first refusal on Albemarle House via an interest in a 200-plus acre tract of land currently held in the John W. Kluge, Jr. Trust.
Moses also referred a reporter to Goldman for comment. Asked whether Trump, Kluge and Moses were coordinating an effort to preserve the winery, Albemarle House and Vineyard Estates, Goldman told C-VILLE there was a "potentially cooperative effort," but emphasized that no such effort is absolute or final at this time.
Sonabank and Farm Credit of the Virginias hold liens on Vineyard Estates luxury development and the Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard, respectively. Combined, their liens total $43 million.