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Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 09/27/2011

Steve and Jean Case hope to buy Virginia winery

Steve and Jean Case in 2001 (Kenneth Lambert/AP)
Virginia wine enthusiasts may soon be able to crack open a case of. . . Case. AOL co-founder Steve Case and his wife Jean are in the process of buying a Madison, Va., winery.

Hello, you’ve got merlot!

(Sorry. Just kind of giddy to have vineyard gossip that doesn’t involve the Salahis .)

The Cases are seeking state approval to buy Sweely Estate Winery, about 90 minutes southwest of D.C. The couple declined to comment on the specifics while officials consider the license transfer. Through a rep, Jean Case told us she’s “a proud supporter of Virginia wine” and that she hopes “to help lift up and celebrate this important sector of Virginia’s economy.”

Sweely Estate got off to a promising start when it opened a few years ago, reports our wine columnist colleague Dave McIntyre, but suffered in the economic downturn. Its owners nearly averted not one but two foreclosure auctions in the past year — and like all of Virginia’s 200 wineries are struggling with a dismal rainy harvest. Sweely Estate declined comment.

Read earlier: Donald Trump buys Kluge winery, 4/7/11

By  |  10:00 PM ET, 09/27/2011

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