So let the naming games begin: Donald Trump has purchased the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard near Monticello, apparently as a “white knight” investor to keep Patricia Kluge and her husband, Bill Moses, in charge of the operation.
Trump purchased the bulk of the estate Thursday in a foreclosure auction and promptly told The Post he would keep Kluge involved. (As first noted here, Kluge and Moses were trying to interest Trump in the property as early as last fall, when their bank called the loan.)
While Kluge and Moses may remain, Trump told The Post he would rename the winery. Will it be Truge Estate? Trumpicello? Since he’s promoting the “birther” controversy over President Obama’s citizenship, maybe he’ll try to convince us the vineyard isn’t really in Virginia at all.
Whatever he calls it, he paid Trump Change. Kluge and Moses lost the sprawling estate last fall in a spectacular bankruptcy when their bank called in a $35 million loan on more than 900 acres they owned south of Charlottesville, not far from the historic estates of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. According to Charlottesville wine blogger Richard Leahy , Trump and another unidentified bidder split the estate — total price was a mere $8.07 million.
Trump’s parcel included the winery and the vineyards, which together, with more than 160 acres planted, is Virginia’s largest. “I’m really interested in good real estate, not so much in wine,” Trump told The Post in a phone interview. “This place had a $28 million mortgage on it, and I bought it for $6.2 million.”
Wonder what he’ll charge for the wine ...
Closer to home, the Bethesda Central Farm Market opens for the season on Sunday, and Maryland’s Woodhall Vineyards and Wine Cellars will be on hand pouring samples and selling bottles. Market manager Mitch Berliner successfully lobbied the state legislature last year to allow Maryland wineries to sell their products at Montgomery County farmers markets. He says there will be a winery at the market most Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Thanksgiving. The market is located in the parking lot off Elm Street near Woodmont Avenue, behind the Jaleo location in Bethesda.