Recently, the Washington Post took the time to explore the wine region in its own backyard. The entire travel section was devoted to eating, tasting, playing, and staying in Virginia wine country. One article in particular was focused on the culinary and viticultural bounty of the Charlottesville area. With numerous recent articles touting Charlottesville as one of America’s best cities for food and wine, the historical home of Jefferson and America’s winegrowing efforts has become a mecca for foodies and oenophiles alike. So, it goes without saying that the author probably couldn’t pack everything into one quick weekend jaunt through town. It seems to be her bias, however, and not Father Time that kept her from one of Charlottesville’s gems.
After taking in some of the rich history in the area, the author gets back to the business of tasting through Virginia’s wine country. It’s at this point that she muses, “[Blenheim Vineyards] is just up the road from Trump Winery. We’ve elected to skip the latter, put off by the large gold-leaf “T” on the sign at the entrance. By contrast, the sign for Blenheim is so small and plain, it’s easy to miss the turnoff.” Now to be fair, when most of us hear the name “Trump” it probably conjures images of opulence and bad toupees, but Trump Winery is under the tutelage of Donald’s son, Eric Trump. Eric’s done a tremendous job bringing Trump’s signature customer service to Charlottesville, while preserving the understated elegance and charm of Virginia Wine Country.
The Trump Winery tasting room is nestled among the estate’s 1300 acres of grapevines and tree groves. The cozy space is full of natural light and dark wood, with the square shaped tasting bar drawing attention to the center of the room. Beyond the tasting bar, the room opens to a spacious stone terrace with additional room for tasting, and various alcoves for lounging and sipping on your favorite Trump wine.
You may just find more than one favorite at Trump, too. Sparkling roots run deep on this property, having been planted by Patricia Kluge in 1999. These sparkling wines have won numerous competitions and accolades, including the 2008 SP Rosé which claimed a coveted spot in the 2013 Governor’s Cup Case. Trump offers more than just the light and bright, however. The 2012 New World Reserve is a beautiful, complex Bordeaux blend worthy of a gourmet meal or a cozy spot in front of a fire. If you’re craving something a little stronger, indulge in Trump’s Cru: a fortified chardonnay aged in bourbon barrels for more than 12 months. It makes a killer hot toddy or spiked/spiced apple cider.
Overall, Trump Winery provides a spectacular tasting experience in a beautiful corner of Virginia wine country; one that people (like the Washington Post journalist mentioned above) might miss because of preconceived notions about its owner. To avoid missing out, I invite you to Trump it.