Family ties: Sales at Trump Winery skyrocket

Donald J. Trump and son Eric Trump at the Grand Opening Celebration of the Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery.
Photo: Amanda Maglione Donald J. Trump and son Eric Trump at the Grand Opening Celebration of the Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery. Photo: Amanda Maglione

With Trump Winery and the Albemarle Estate situated on a massive 1,300-acre plot south of Charlottesville, some Central Virginians may have more ties to the Trump family than they’d like. Others take advantage of it.

Robert Harllee, owner of the Market Street Wineshops, tells the story of a liberal couple who visited his store in search of a bottle of Trump Winery’s award-winning sparkling wine. Their mission after checking out? To give it to their liberal South Carolinian friends as a joke.

“Yes, there are liberals in South Carolina,” Harllee says and laughs, adding that Trump is brilliant at making himself the topic of conversation and doesn’t mind bad publicity. As for stocking his shop, Harllee doesn’t let his personal feelings against a certain presidential hopeful get in the way of doing business.

“Personally, I might tell Mr. Trump he’s fired,” he says, but he knows the people who make Trump wine and says “they make a great product.”

Kerry Woolard, Trump Winery’s general manager, says in-house sales are up about 300 percent, with online sales even higher. She doesn’t necessarily attribute this to The Donald, but to how good the wines are.

“I look at this as a great opportunity for us and Virginia wine as a whole,” she says. “It’s clear that more people know about Virginia wine today than ever before.” As for the number of people staying at Albemarle Estate, she says its July ribbon-cutting coincided with the beginning of Trump’s campaign, and the estate has been featured with five-star reviews in national publications, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s driving the visitation.

When people step into the tasting room of Trump Winery, they speak kindly of Trump, if at all, she says. After all, they’re there to drink what Trump Winery President Eric Trump calls “the finest wines in the world,” not to talk politics.

Employees, Woolard says, are fans of the family that owns the winery, and she calls Eric an amazing boss, leader and mentor.

“All the staff appreciates what he has done saving the property from its state of total disrepair,” she says. “Prior to [Donald] Trump purchasing the property, many of the staff had been laid off and were looking for work.”

C-VILLE Weekly asked its Twitter followers about their opinions on Trump wine. We received two responses.

Benjamin Randolph says, “I refuse to drink Trump wine. I don’t want him to profit in any way from my actions,” and Johnny Frankenberger tweets he “would never consider” drinking it.

Trump Winery President Eric Trump calls his company’s wines “the finest in the world.”

Posted In:     News

Tags:     ,

Previous Post

E-Z peel exposé: Thai slave labor puts crimp in holiday shrimp

Next Post

‘Stinky neighborhood’: Will a $9.3 million project pass the smell test?

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

0 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of