Trump truth meter

Donald Trump seemed to forget that he bought his winery from old friend Patricia Kluge, not her ex, John Kluge. Trump Winery is owned by Eric Trump, left, according to its website. 
Photo Nick Strocchia Donald Trump seemed to forget that he bought his winery from old friend Patricia Kluge, not her ex, John Kluge. Trump Winery is owned by Eric Trump, left, according to its website. Photo Nick Strocchia

Following his March 8 wins in the Mississippi and Michigan Republican presidential primaries, Donald Trump held a press conference at the Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter, Florida, and talked about Trump Winery.

He invited the press to check facts about whether he owns the winery, which he bought at a foreclosure auction in 2011, free and clear. Actually, the winery’s website says, “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.”

C-VILLE checked a few other statements Trump made about his winery.

“It’s the largest winery on the East Coast.”

Trump Winery’s website says it’s the largest in Virginia, and with 200 acres under cultivation, it may have the most land under vine in the state, according to Carl Brandhorst, president of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. But wine production is the number often used to determine size, and Brandhorst says both Chateau Morrisette and Williamsburg Winery produce more wine than Trump Winery, and that there are vineyards in New York that are larger than any in Virginia.

“It was the Kluge estate. John Kluge, he was the richest man in the United States. He died and he built one of the great vineyards of all time. I mean, there is nothing like it.”

Ouch for Trump’s pal, Patricia Kluge, who built the Kluge Estate Winery in 1999 after her divorce from John Kluge. When the economy crashed and she needed help, she appealed to Trump, who bought the winery at a foreclosure auction for $6.2 million.

“It’s close to 2,000 acres.”

Trump Winery’s website says it’s 1,300 acres; Albemarle County property records show Trump entities own 1,206 acres.

“It’s in Charlottesville, Virginia, right next to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.”

Around here, we call it Monticello.